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Motivation vs chronic pain

jj-from montrealjjj-from montreal Posts: 60
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Chronic Pain
At the beginning of my chronic pain journey, I found it very difficult to find the energy to do…!. My focus was mostly on; getting through the day/night. I started to shut out most of my friend, and family, they didn’t understand. I just did not have the energy to care. No body likes a complainer…I was lost. I started to be a night person. Sleep all day, stay up all night.(very common in the life of a chronic pain person) A lot less stress when every body around is fast asleep. Is this living..? is this life..? It took me a long time to reverse the cycle, to live as others, in terms of creativity, to become a viable member in society.
My secrete; First and foremost An agenda book, Why..! I- like most chronic pain sufferers Experience some sort of short term memory is loss, and thought processing problems. I used to forget about appointments, I don’t any more. The agenda book keeps me on track, eliminated a lot of stresses, and embarrassments. The second and equally as important is re finding my purpose. We humans must “create”, in order to feel whole I find that if I start something, and that something can expand, and can produces some sort of reword or accomplishment at the end of the day, that’s what I refer to as creating.. May it be, sharing my experiences with others, so they don’t have to go through life thinking they are only one. Going to the mall,(major effort for some people), cleaning the house, (one section) at a time, meeting someone for coffee, it really does not matter what one does, as long as they do.
To lie back and let life pass you bye, I refer to this as moving side ways, the objective is to move forward… please do not let your spark die, find something the rocks your wold..You’re worth it…!
keep smiling


  • Nice to see you again.

    Very well said. I'm glad you found your "life" again and I think it's extremely important for people to find a way to live their lives with chronic pain that is as close to "normal" as possible, understanding that it's really a new normal.

    Bravo to you for finding what works for you and not just watching life go by but living it.

  • I hear ya too. It is so hard sometimes!

    I am lucky that I have my kids and my horses to keep me moving- sometimes it would be so easy to just go to bed and stay there!

    I hope everyone who feels hopeless is also asking their doctors about the possibility of depression!
  • JJ,
    That natural isolation from others perhaps is our way of coping initially and as you say some associated friends become bored with a condition that blights our continual existence. Others have the responsibility to adapt to our situation and help us progress in reality life moves at a pace that we are unable to sustain and the prominence of who we are fades into the distance, memory and historic recollection.

    Chronic pain is not always conducive to the long term goals of our healthy persona and we need that daily success even with our limitation to feel included, our current needs have been imposed by our condition and attempting to replicate the older achievement no longer possible.

    Pacing is perhaps bigger than we imagine and our emotional status determine how motivated we are to do the thing we must rather than the task we would like to be doing. That belief than we are incapable of more is usually only a phase and time itself enables us to adapt to doing more and being proactive, irrespective that our underlying condition may have not changed in its severity, we still do more.

    Inside we are all still the same person, we have to adapt and invent areas that could be improved and see those windows of opportunity for self improvement. Pain is always erratic and steady progression we perceive is attainable in our heads, does not always match with the reality of our physical capability, finding an equitable balance is always difficult, frustrating and tiresome.

    The key is to do what you can when you can and be kind to yourself, life itself can be difficult and with pain included, we all do well to keep that inner motivation buoyant and progressive.

    Take care.

  • The human body and mind to adapt to a situation. I have found as in sports that you will be surprised how much you can push the human body to do things people thought not possible.

    The thing people forget most is that the biggest and most important muscle in the body is the "brain". Time and time again I have seen the difference between the people who adapt and excel and the people who fall behind and into despair is their mental strength not physical.

    You will surprise yourself once you understand this fact.

  • When possible I read, when the pain is low enough for me to keep track of the plot. In the summer I fish, sometimes it hurts, but I love it. I have found that I have to do something, even if it doesn't really accomplish anything big, for me it is an accomplishment. I think we all have our processes for dealing with and accepting our pain, the important thing is to accept the pain without giving up on life. I can do nothing to change my condition, but I can keep doing what I can and find satisfaction in that. The biggest factor in my success in dealing with the pain is my spiritual life. I find that God is in control irregardless of my circumstances and that I can go forward. For that I am extremely thankful.

  • Thanks for letting us know where you've been. I'm there right now up all night and sleep all day. I know I have to change that and find my motivation. I'm going to try and make some small goals to accomplish. I need to push myself more but it's so darned cold outside. I'm going to get some music on and move it move it. Thanks for encouraging words and letting me know there's a way out. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi JJ,

    I just came on to read posts,(not sleeping), after a bad day and a bad flare up experience. Thank you for such a great post! Today, the pain Dr. increased my pain patch and told me that being down or depressed about a physical setback is a completely different issue.????? I thought that chronic pain and setbacks and challenges were intertwined???? Her dismissal of cause and effect really bothered me. I am not usually one to complain, I think. I truly believe that the challenges of our bodies can challenge our minds and spirits. We need to be aware of this fact so we can work on it. I truly enjoyed your positive message about the importance and power of our moving forward. I try to find three positive things that I have completed each day to keep my spirits high. It doesn't matter how big or small as long as I have at least three by the end of each day. I hope that idea might also help someone else. Thanks Again JJ !!

    hugs, glo :)
  • It does get old,the pain...my friends and family ask the obligatory "how you feeling?",and I now just answer"I'm doing okay". They don't get it,some of them do care,but they don't get it.I too keep a day planner,helps alot.I don't sleep either...I can usually make it on 4 hours,but throw in a few 2 hr nights in a row and I'm a zombie.So...I take a nap,during the day,and I am far from lazy.I am tired,and I need some rest.I have a household to run,and there are no regular hours,my house runs 24/7.I suppose that is my motivation,I can't stop,I want to sometimes,but I don't.I learn as much as I can about my pain and it causes,and try to help myself.But sometimes,it all gets me,and when that happens,I know it's time to stop for awhile and rest and put me first...finally I know how to do that,and that's the only way I can contribute to society.I pat myself on the back,as needed and I cut myself some slack when appropriate. Learning how to do that has helped me tremendously. Thanks for the post JJ!
  • I too have to rely on something else to keep track of appointments and such. I have a pda, and I don't know what I would do now without it!! Everything goes into that little gadget to help me remember just about every aspect of my life, lol. It's funny how you mentioned doing housework, one section at a time, as that is how I've had to readjust the way I do things as well. It used to take me 2 hours to do the house top to bottom, but now, I tackle one room a day. Actually, I've had to do that with a lot of things in my life to cut out undue stress and anxiety, "chunk it down" I call it. Take a task, chunk it down into little steps, and complete each chunk as you can. If you need to take a little break in between, that's fine, but keep going to complete the entire task, and always congratulate yourself once you have, even after each "chunk".
    Sagehen, yes, naps are my blessing, I usually only get about 3 hours of sleep a night too, so when I get home from work, I'm dead on my aching feet (and the rest of me, lol) and usually have a little nap to rest before tackling my room for the day, lol. Rest is so important for healing, when we're up and about during the day, with little sleep. I have had days on the weekend where I've just crashed and slept most of the day away after working all week, and that's something that I do allow myself to do once in a while. Giving myself time to recharge is so important so that I can handle each day as it comes.
    Glad to hear that you're doing well JJ, may everyone be able to come to the point that you and others of us have reached!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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