Chronic pain is sneaky. Chronic pain is relentless. Chronic pain is unforgiving. Chronic pain is isolating. I could go on and on with an entire list of adjectives that let's face it aren't the greatest. But just like a coin, just like a fight between two friends. There are two sides to every story. Even one's chronic pain story. Yes chronic pain sometimes never goes away. Yes a lot of the time chronic pain feels absolutely awful, but in my experience and maybe the experience of others, these are the times, your eyes are opened to the life you had before. The life where you worried about nothing. And however depressing that may be, it lets you feel an appreciation for that life that you've never had before. Sometimes you beat it for that day, sometimes you're ok for the rest of the week, but sometimes you're not. Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel, and say, I can't do this anymore. Not today. And it's the most vulnerable, courageous thing you could have ever done. Honestly, when I was told to start a blog about my health, after every single article I wrote, I felt like saying, well that was fun, I don't have anything else to write about. But chronic pain is a journey. I will always have something to write about.
Living a life with chronic pain is a roller coaster; a complete and utter unpredictable, broken, dysfunctional, crazy roller coaster. Sometimes it feels like you're a ringmaster in a circus, trying to keep all of your plates spinning before they fall on the floor breaking into thousands of pieces. Sometimes your pain stays at a 4 all day, sometimes it stays at a 4 for 2 hours, maybe 3 if you're lucky, sometimes it jumps around all day, making it impossible to plan anything for that day, other than lie there. To some people, Oh the ideal day, doing nothing but lying there, but when lying there takes effort, just to be able to get into a position that you're not writhing in pain in? Yeah that takes skill. Sometimes all you can do while you're lying there is think of all the things you've lost. All the things you could once do that now you cannot.
I used to lie awake every night, so upset, thinking, "Chronic pain is this all you're going to do? Eat away at my life until I'm left with nothing?" You've already taken my career, my social life, what else is there for a young adult? I literally thought my life was crumbling before my eyes. And then suddenly one night, while I was lying there crying, it was like my eyes were opened. "You don't have to stop living Kimi, you just have to live differently", my mind told me. You don't have to equate living differently with living less, or living not to the caliber you used to. And that was all it took. I created new standards for myself. I made new goals. It appeared that it all happened as easily as blinking, and deciding, but little did people know. This took a long time, because although I realized I had to create a new skill set for myself, I was very set in my ways. I didn't want to create something new. But I realized I had to if I ever wanted to be able to accomplish things successfully again. Don't get me wrong though, I would do anything to end the pain I go through on a daily basis, all the pills I need to take because of it. But what I will NOT give up is the woman I have become because of chronic pain. Perfection doesn't come from being perfect. Perfection is your own definition.
When I realized I don't need to "get better" to be ok, it was like my world opened up. The floodgates were now open and the entire world was at my feet. This felt almost as good as beating the chronic pain; something I never thought I would be able to do. Little did I know, every day that I got up and went about my day, was beating it right there. So thank you chronic pain. Thank you for showing me that my life isn't perfect, but that's what makes it mine. Thank you for showing me that beautiful things can grow from the brokenness of someone's soul. And what I want to thank you for the MOST, is thank you for showing ME, that I could do it! <3 br="">3>