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Chronic pain can be the ultimate thief of joy! Hence why I’ve been gone from the blog and social media for such a long time! What I intended on being a quick break somehow turned into a 5 month hiatus. Yikes!
Those of you that have been following me for a while may have been wondering where I’ve been. Or is this THE END of The Chronic Diary?
So let me explain…
Back in April, I reached the point of total burnout. I’d pushed myself way too hard and had too much going on. I was beyond stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted, which had a major impact on my mental and physical health.
So, for the sake of my well-being, I had to take a break to rest and recover.
The Thief of Joy and My Identity?
Aside from being mentally and physically exhausted, I genuinely felt like chronic pain had stolen my identity. It was the ultimate thief of joy!
Writing, discussing, and advocating for those with chronic pain is something I genuinely enjoy. Not only is it a way for me to vent, but it’s also a way for me to help others going through similar things.
But suddenly I felt like chronic pain controlled every part of my life.
Not only am I in pain every day. I talk about it constantly. Whether it’s with doctors or in blog posts, or during day-to-today conversations.
I felt like I’d become a walking billboard for chronic pain, and I no longer knew who I was without it.
THE END OF THE CHRONIC DIARY?
I was going through a true identity crisis, which also led to a serious case of writer’s block!
No matter how many times I tried to write, the words just wouldn’t flow.
I couldn’t even bring myself to talk about pain. I didn’t want the words ‘chronic pain’ to leave my lips. I was all talked out.
I had nothing more to say…
It was such a weird place to be in.
It’d taken me such a long time to reach a place of acceptance regarding my pain. But (what felt like) overnight, my mind reverted to my younger self at the beginning of my chronic pain journey. A version of myself that was angry, and unable to accept that the pain was here to stay.
I was grieving my old (pre-pain) self all over again.
So the last thing I wanted to do was write or talk about it.
To be honest, I was a click away from deleting the blog and removing all traces of its existence from the internet. But there was something in me that just couldn’t do it.
Instead, I took a step back and didn’t write or speak about chronic pain for at least 2 months.
Rediscovering my ‘WHY’
But as time passed, more and more people kept asking if I’d given up on the blog. As well as some touching messages from a few of my lovely subscribers, letting me know how much they appreciate my content and look forward to me posting again.
It was at that point I realised, my voice, the people I represent and the content I create are important. That was the final push I needed!
I remembered my ‘why’.
The reason I started the blog in the first place was to give a voice and create a community for those of us who often feel ignored or isolated.
I realised that what I do makes a difference to people (even if only a few) and that makes me happy.
I was no longer willing to let pain be the main character in my story!
Because despite all the pain, suffering and frustration chronic pain causes, some good comes from it, the ability to help others.
DON’T LET CHRONIC PAIN STEAL YOUR PASSION
Chronic pain is a thief! Not only of our bodies and minds, but a thief of joy! Causing so many of us living with pain to let go or lose our passions.
We have so much to contend with, from the relentless appointments and tests, being gaslit by doctors, struggling with our mental health, to losing aspects of our independence. Which can make it increasingly difficult to do the things we were once passionate about.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Respark your passion
You’re the same person who had passions, interests, and talents before becoming unwell… You may just have to go about things differently.
If it’s been a while since you did something you enjoy, all you need is something to spark your creativity.
For example, if you used to love drawing, perhaps watch some YouTube videos for inspiration and to get your artistic juices flowing.
I know you’re probably thinking, all of that sounds great, but “chronic pain makes it hard for me to focus for over 10 minutes before I feel like crap!”.
But believe me, there are so many things that you can do without having to overexert yourself.
For example, when I’m writing a blog post, rather than pressuring myself to write an entire post in a few hours. Instead, I break the writing process into chunks, with breaks in between.
- 9am-10am – Write
- 11am – 12pm – Break
- 12pm – 1pm – Write
- 3pm – 4pm – Break
- 4pm – 5pm – Write
By the time you know it, I’ve finished a whole post without feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
Of course, this will vary depending on what you’re doing. But the idea is to pace yourself, listen to your body, and take as many breaks as you need.
Don’t let chronic pain be a thief of joy. Tap back into the things you love or discover something new.
It won’t be easy by any means, but it’ll be worth it.
I’d love to hear your stories. How did chronic pain try to steal your joy, and how did you bounce back? Let me know in the comments below.
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