Embracing life to the fullest gives people a picture of full health, full joy, and being fully present to whatever comes up. That is not always the case. Instead, people are left to deal with stress, pain, difficulties, chronic pain, mental health issues, addiction, and more. There is no perfect life.
Everyone deals with it differently, but nobody’s life is perfect. Symptoms of chronic pain can drive a person back to substances in recovery or start them on the journey to addiction. It can also make it harder to manage daily living activities if they struggle without relief. Find ways to cope and make life better with chronic pain.
Living with Pain
No matter where a person finds themselves, they can eventually deal with chronic pain of some kind, including illness that makes the chronic pain ‘invisible’ to others. The daily struggle, stress, and loss of identity are all things that make it harder to navigate daily life.
It may seem to outsiders a person is doing okay, when, in fact, they are not. Life with a debilitating illness, especially if that person is in recovery from addiction, looks very different. They cannot use opioids or the same medication others might control pain. Alternative ways of finding relief and joy are the best choice.
Resilience and Pain
Living a resilient life means being empowered. Empowered to speak your truth about your illness and having tools to strengthen yourself and your life around the illness. Getting organized helps you deal with the day to day tasks of living, working, and even raising a family. Not everyone has a strong support network so they can struggle alone, trying to cope with whatever life throws their way. Being resilient does not mean always having good days. It might mean facing the day with a renewed sense of hope and confidence things will get better with the right focus on gratitude.
The brain is going to focus on only one thing when the body feels pain: make it stop. Create a list where all the things the illness prevents you from doing are written down one by one. Then, go to a list of limitations that can be broken down into steps for resilience. This might look like writing down how hard it is to shower each day and noting that a chair will help, so making sure a shower chair is in there to make it easier.
Limitations are not mental, they are physical. Even if the illness or chronic pain feels physical, the brain can still try to focus on coping in a positive way that allows acceptance of what is to gravitate towards hope and healing. Let others know the limitations, like time limits on being around people at a party or event, or time spent sitting versus standing, and what will work best for you. Don’t fear their reaction, just acknowledge they will have one view while you will have another.
Life can be better if you let other people in. Let them help you co-create the life you want. Find help and support for your journey. Let others be the place you go to and lean on when times are tough. If you struggle with finding peace, talk to a professional counselor. Seek therapy and treatment. Do what works but don’t let yourself be convinced there is only one way. There are more than a few ways to work around chronic illness that can help you thrive.
Alta Loma has a place of healing and transformational care waiting to accept you with open arms. We provide a safe space to deal with addiction and mental health issues in a healthy way. We offer mind, body, and spirit work that will help you heal all facets of your life and learn to thrive in recovery. If you are struggling, let us help guide your steps. Call us at: 866-457-3843.