A Day In The Life Of A Chronic Alcoholic
Chronic Pain Shakes Up Your Life
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When life turns around for us and our world seems upside down, we’re not sure which part is wearing out first. Are we losing our minds, too, as well as our bodies? It’s a strange thing about choice when you live a life of chronic pain or deal with some awful illness every day. At first, when we become ill or are struck by pain, we are shaken to the core. It’s as if someone has set fire to our plans, our credentials and our futures. We are forced to re-think our direction in life.
When our life changes direction, each part of us gets sucked into the morass and the quagmire. It’s as if our plane has crashed and all the debris fell into a whirlpool and while we’re in the midst of pain and suffering, we still have to sort out finances, family and just getting through each day. We would like to throw up our hands or just throw up and take a “time out,” but the clock keeps ticking away. The routine of each day demands that we eat, sleep and often, work. We have families to care for, doctors to see, and days and nights to get through. Shaken as we are, we still breathe and have beating hearts.
We say certain phrases to ourselves and out loud to those closest to us, like, “I can’t do this,” or “Dear God, why me?” We pray, we curse, we cry, and we try to absorb everything we can about our condition or cause of pain. We wallow and we become self-absorbed in an effort to survive this new life that’s been thrust upon us. I wish I could offer a remedy for this stone strewn path. I would be so happy if I could say, “It gets better.” It may, but it all depends on each of us and the approach we choose.
This way of life is brutal, it’s more than difficult and it is cunning as it tries to steal everything from us. Eventually, however, we begin to gain new insight. We decide we aren’t going to let the big “IT” in our lives win. We begin to fight back. We must. If we let this pain suck us under, all is lost. That’s when we begin to see with new eyes, hear with heightened awareness and touch with greater sensitivity than we have ever known.
Yesterday, I went to my almost five-year-old granddaughter’s preschool to pick her up. It was picture day. All the children were dressed in their finery. Many of the little boys were in adorable sweaters; the little girls were mostly wearing something pink. Some were allowing their mothers to dote upon them with combs and hairbrushes. My granddaughter had her brunette hair in braids my daughter had tediously installed that morning before school. She was wearing her favorite dress although it was cold and the dress was sleeveless, she basked in the warmth of feeling pretty. Her best friend was standing beside her, because you always have a best friend when you’re that age and at one point her little blonde girlfriend reached over and kissed my granddaughter on the shoulder. She then fluttered away and my granddaughter accepted it as a gift and didn’t pay much attention. It startled me into an awareness of all that’s sweet, lovely, and kind in this world. I realized how often I forget to notice the truly important aspects and joys of life.
My prayer for you as well as for myself is that we open our eyes with a new awareness and see the butterfly kisses, smell the sweet aroma of fresh fall air, look into the yellow heart of a purple African violet, and live.
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