This morning, I went outside to do my routine. My routine consists of a little bit of six painful activities: sitting, standing, walking, running, squatting, and stairs. For the last two months I have been slowly increasing how much of each I do: one more stair, 15 seconds more walking, like that. This week I had a big flare up of knee pain, so today I could only manage less than half of what I’ve been doing, and even that gave me pain.
It left me frustrated and angry. I came back into the house and just wanted to escape. I scooped brownie ice cream into a mug, pulled a jug of orange juice from the fridge, and sat down in despair to watch Netflix.
Continue reading “On resisting your temptations”
No matter how good you become at managing your pain, no matter how much work you put into loving your life, there will probably come a time when you feel absolutely awful and nothing you do lightens your mood. You have a major flare-up, or two or three, and all of life feels dark, hostile, and meaningless. It really does feel that this is the end, that all you have to look forward to is more awfulness, anger, fear, rage, despair, and/or depression, until you die. That’s the story, anyway!
Continue reading “What to do when you feel awful”
Grief is like a storm: turbulent and scary, but also nourishing and cleansing, making room for new, beautiful things to grow. And like a storm, grieving has stages. There may be more (5? 8?), but I’ve basically only found three: prepare, surrender, and rest.
Continue reading “Losing Isn’t Everything (Part 2)”
I feel depressed and afraid. It seems to just descend on me from time to time. Every time it comes, it feels like the first time because whenever it ends, I forget that it ever happened. I forget just how low I can feel. And then I am reminded.
Continue reading “Depression (and its upside)”
If you were once able bodied, and are now disabled due to persistent pain, you may feel that you’ve lost a lot. And like losing someone you love, losing abilities you love, like running, walking, or cooking, involves grieving.
Continue reading “Losing Isn’t Everything”
Darlene Cohen has been one of my guides on the path of pain. She’s not around anymore, but she wrote some excellent books. My favorite is Self-Care for Arthritis. In it she says a person in pain must dedicate themselves to the “relentless pursuit of pleasure.” Continue reading “The relentless pursuit of pleasure”