Do you have a chronic illness or chronic pain? Then this is the blog for you! While your pain or illness may be lifelong, that doesn't mean the psychological consequences have to be. Learn what you can do about it!
Being diagnosed with a chronic condition is a loss. In fact, it is comprised of many losses.
It may be a loss of the person we used to be.
It may mean a loss of independence.
It may mean a loss of dreams and goals.
It may mean a loss of some of the people in our lives who we thought were close.
It is the loss of the life we once had.
For many of us with chronic conditions, living with pain or illness
means daily medications, injections, surgery, physical therapy, and
weekly or monthly doctor appointments. Not to mention living with
These are things we could never have dreamed
of before our diagnosis. We are forced into a life-long journey that is
strange, painful and full of new challenges.
now need to try to figure out how to help our family and friends
understand what we are going through, while we ourselves try to decipher
what it means for our future. We need to figure out how to balance
work, family, kids, taking care of a home, and hobbies – all now with
pain, fatigue and frustration.
times, depression and anxiety step in when we realize that the life we
once had is now gone and that our future is filled with the unknown.
The mourning process begins.
important at this point to allow ourselves to experience the mourning
process. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to grief and
mourning. Cry, scream, and yell if you have to. Talk to a friend or
therapist if it would help. Start journaling. Write a letter to your
pain and rip it up or burn it. It doesn’t matter what you do -- just do
something! And then, at some point, it is important to try and live a
Finding a new normal means
weaving our way, however slowly, through the new challenges we face
daily. Do some research and find a great doctor who you trust.
Research the medications you are being prescribed. Find what works for
you, whether it’s hot/cold packs, a heating pad, medications, rest, a
support group, yoga, acupuncture, meditation, or light exercise.
for the future as best you can: Set new goals and make a plan to reach
them. Do what you can each day. Talk with your family and friends
about what you need from them and work on being comfortable accepting
Having a chronic condition, however painful, uncomfortable,
horrible, scary and unfair, doesn’t mean you can’t be happy again. But
in order to be happy it is important to mourn the loss of who you were
and slowly put the pieces of your puzzle back together.