Any one can daydream off into their own world, I was guilty of doing this during school science lessons in particular. However, pain just makes it difficult for myself to recall positive or happier occasions that I've been a part of in life and their underlying meaning. There are a few occasions in life that I can remember really looking forward too, yet all I can remember of those times is sadly, the pain. It became apparent to me after a while, that any after thought was usually the reminder of how much pain consumed the day or particular moment I was looking forward to. This always felt off putting. My school years were plagued with pain and never actually enjoying the time to be a kid, work hard in lessons and have fun both inside and out of school. It's strange how I have always been able to recall a memory off of how intense my pain levels may have been, even looking at clothes can remind me of bad pain days. It's like a rather strange stigma becomes attached to these moments, confirming just how consumed by pain by body and lifestyle have always been. It's hard feeling like all you gain as an after thought is the pain you experienced. It's a losing battle and makes trying even more difficult and off putting.
When I sat and thought about that statement, it didn't just apply to how I felt over that holiday but anything or any outing with chronic pain and illness that I have experienced in my life. You are never truly in the moment and that's difficult. Your memories are plagued by pain levels and how much they perhaps got in the way despite your best efforts. You are more concerned over your pain levels and getting through the day over letting loose and enjoying yourself like any one else your age has the ability to do. You can never just switch off or gain time off from your physical pain. There's no leaving your problems at the door like you can do with your job or social life. There's no forgetting of your problems. They are more evident than most. It's often a case of being unable to seize an opportunity for distraction from what is bothering you. Those who live with chronic illness and disability will never be able to leave behind something that powerful. This is obviously consuming your entire body and existence from the minute you open your eyes in the morning. It's not an easy adjustment or the typically average way of life, without sounding like a bitter Betty. I do however believe that it is a part of the process of learning to accept chronic pain being a constant in your life, in order to try to move forward. There is no avoiding this, so the only option is adapting.
You try your best to cover the severity in situations out of the home in order to try your best to remain somewhat calm, but it isn't always easy as it looks. I definitely couldn't bare for it to be seen as rudeness or dis interest as it isn't the case. The vacancy pain brings is a greatly annoying aspect of illness for myself. When I feel anxious from pain I tend to zone out, when I feel noise sensitive from my pain I try to leave the situation, when I have large amounts of physical pain I become inward and unresponsive and want to shut myself away. It's just my coping mechanisms, but at times I wish it wasn't. It's even more frightening when I am out and these symptoms or feelings arrive as you just want your comforts in which you cope best. I wish pain could leave me be when I have something to do, somewhere to go, someone to spend time with but that isn't valid with illness.
Chronic illness is like a tight item of clothing that you have no choice but to wear. However many times you attempt to stretch it, it just refuses to loosen. Chronic Illness, a lot of the time is smothering. Pain is always in control physically, which can have a huge mental impact on your day ahead. As much as you try to be in and enjoy the present of your day, pain is always in control of what you are able to do and how you are feeling. For those of us who live with a looming illness throughout our bodies, we know the best ways in which we can try to coat our symptoms or pain in front of guests or when we are out of the home. It is still is increasingly difficult, frightening and dissatisfying that this is the case. When an illness can overtake multiple aspects of your body and arise many symptoms, any coping mechanisms that you have in mind and hope will work can go out of the window with co operating. Symptoms are a red alert to the body, it goes into meltdown. With that, your confidence in controlling and hiding your pain can slide, your anxiety can soar and your fear too.
This makes my post on capturing memories even more important. When it's a struggle to remember the moment because pain may have ruined or interrupted your day, a picture might help you to unravel the deeper meaning of achievement despite pain. My goal is to still continuously try to push myself to still achieve what is in my heart and hope that pain allows me to be as present as possible rather than over ruling it. It's a positive encouragement and achievement that you all still continue to try even though you may be feeling particularly vacant. Trying shouldn't be dismissed. I want to be accepting of the pain, but I also don't want it to cloud my mood, judgement, happiness or ability to look forward to and enjoy something. I will continue to try not to let it defeat me and I hope you can too, even though sometimes, it may feel like it is.