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Reasons to keep your head up

firewater1981ffirewater1981 Posts: 86
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Depression and Coping
Hello everyone.

My name is Chris and I like you struggle with depression because of my chronic pain and my now significantly limited lifestyle. My pain comes from my many herniated and degenerating discs in my back. I know it is hard to keep up your hope and your spirits. I just wanted to let all of you know that you are not alone. That I and millions of other people are fighting the fight with you. Lean on us. Lean on each other. Lean on friends and family even if they are few. You have many friends here, many of whom you haven’t meet yet. The purpose of me creating this blog is to share that with you. My hope is that people will post on here what they are thankful for and if they find any new information about advancements in the field with their particular ailment/disease that they will share it.

Keep up the fight. I am with you.
Your brother in arms.
>:D< :H 8}


  • Well said Chris !

    At times is all too easy to fall into the suggestion that the future will be dire and even if you are a lifer as me, we all need that positive attitude to keep us going. Depression for many is an integral and periodic visitor in our journey of pain and very few, progress onward without having some incidence of depression. As you say, in staying realistically positive we limit those opportunities for those initial depressive thoughts to accumulate and take hold, early intervention and support, help with the depth of any episode and we come through this stronger and wiser.

    We could survive in that half-empty outlook always looking and communicating ideas and notions of restriction, it takes similar effort to be negative as positive. Once our depressive event has improved we are still left with the similar if not increased aspect of pain and it is in the view that we take of it that has changed and not the pain itself, none of this is easy and takes time, perseverance and effort.

    We should not be sad in the things that we cannot do, rather the opportunities of the future and we do have some control in that however small, it is empowering and will help us develop a collective strategy for the future.

    We need to be proactive in finding what works for us, this is a painful process physically and emotionally, marking time while waiting for some new procedure is inactive and in my 20th year I am still waiting. I know many here are having a difficult time and helping others as they go, those outstretched collective hands help us all in our hour of need, we all need a bit of that just do it attitude, the alternative is not a adequate quality of life for ourselves or those around us.

    Take care Chris and thank you.

    John =D>
  • I think so many people get wrappped up in their pain that they forget that help and support are available. That others- million rather suffer from chronic pain and its a rat race better ran with other then alone. This is a wonderful site as I come here daily because as supportive as my family and friends are, they don't truly understand the depths of my pain and how limitations in my life are hard. But I can bet that everytime that I log on there is/are serveral post I can relate to and my heart is lifted. I try to encourage others as much as other encourage me! So thank you again Chris for the post and the reminder we do have each other to lean on!!

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  • Thank you John and Shannon. In my initial entry I hope I didnt sound to "peachy and campy". Making it sound as if life is ok or that it will be ok. Life is hard. Especially for chronic pain sufferers. I can not say that your life will be ok or that mine will be ok. What I hope the message that got across was that whoever is reading this (or who doesnt) is either not alone or doesnt have to be. Shannon. You are right. People thought I was lying about my back pain when I was in the Air Force. I was recently medically retired fromt the Air Force at 28 due to an injury that I recieved on active duty. I was a lifer. At least I wanted to be. I had already re-enlisted and had been in for 8 years. Shoot. 2 more years and I was half way to retirment. It was embarrassing constantly going to medical appointments during work. Physical therapy once a week, mixed in with my primary care, mixed in with chiropractic, mixed in with pain management, mixed in the orthopedic, mixed in with nuerosurgery, mixed in with.... ah you get the point. People would know that I was hurting and that I was getting medically boarded but they still made me do things like I wasnt. Like stand in formation, stiff at attention for 30 - 45 minute intervals even though I went up to them before hand and told them I didnt think I could do it and that it would hurt. When I said something about it one of my Sgts laughed in my face. I was so angry I yelled at him right there. So I got yelled at by a Master Sergeant for handling myself that way. I shouldnt have handled it like that but I'm tired of carrying around this pain and then on top of that people thinking that I am faking it. I am not crippled. I do not need a cane or a wheelchair. I try to put on a smiley face and carry on conversations like everyone else. That does not mean I am not in pain. It just means I am doing everything I can to not let pain run my life. Trust me. Ive had plenty of incidents with people thinking Im faking it. Primary care when I go to get more Vicoden. Even some friends. Its tough. Lifes tough. Its even tougher when you deal with pain on top of having a limited lifestyle, on top of people not even believing you. But enough on me.

    I was giving you a glimps into some of the hardships that I face and have faced to let you know that its tough being a spiney or anyone with some chronic pain. We all face our own battles and struggles. I am just asking that all of you find something that makes you happy. Even if its just for the moment. I again am not saying its easy as I often stuggle with it. But sometimes the highlight of my day is making it to the freezer and getting some ice cream. Putting some chocolate on it and enjoying each bite. Some days its just seeing a pretty bird. Thats it for some days! Doing these things does not take my pain away. It does not make things easier. It is not a revelation or an inside secret. Its me trying to find something to keep going for. Something that I really enjoy that keeps me going is looking at new advancements in technology and procedures. We are living in a very impressive time right now with medical science. I honestly believe that there is something right around the corner for us. You may or may not have felt that before and this feeling may or may not come to fruitarian, but the fact that this idea that it will get better and something is about to change for the better drastically soon is keeping me going and is enough for me to want to water that idea, give it sunlight and allow it to continue to flourish.

    I hope that each of you find that thing. In the mean time I will periodically post what I find when I do my research on the internet for those advancements here on this blog, and on some of the blog posts I have already created in different blog topics throughout spine health. My goal on this blog, as well as the other blog topics I created, is to give both you and I hope. Maybe that can be the light and hope both you and I have been searching for too! I pray! And God does answer prayers! :H B) =D> <):)
  • Chris - thanks! While we all have our ups and downs, it is good to be reminded that sometimes it is healing to look for the good and "glass is half full" vs. the empty part of life.

    I know I could be worse off. Lots of us need this reminder as winter and short days approach.

    Sure we'll all have our lousy days . . .but it's good to celebrate the good ones too!

    Thanks for posting.

    . . .I'm actually inspired to head out for my walk now!
  • Chris,
    We all have a story to tell and the emotive words used are sometimes a reflection of how we feel inside. Pain is not one entity and Melzalck & Wall et al suggested that a “collective approach” to managing our pain was in the longer term more successful. That mixing you mention is vital is addressing each aspect and not let any slip into the half empty mode, Dnice mentions.

    Presenting one self positively is always helpful and we are then seen as not having pain where nothing could be further from the truth and although nobody wants the status they have accumulated to be perceived as a frailty through pain. In attempting achievement every day we build our capacity to do more and feel confident in trying. We need to be proactive and have that realistic hope, medical advancement should only be one aspect of potential and we should be responsible for what we do and how we behave as a consequence. We have some responsibility in finding ways of coping without giving all the responsibility to others, we use them to learn and cope more effectively.

    Surgery is not appropriate for everyone and even when our turn comes we have no guarantee of success only hope and faith in the expectant result, we should only change one aspect at a time so that we can assess if it has been success and be confident that we have realistically evaluated each process before moving to the next.

    Chris, use that positive outlook to face the future and to keep the negativity that can be so destructive, away from your daily thought process, balancing all these accumulative plates is very difficulty and at times some will be perilously close to falling and we then need to give them additional emphasis until that balance is resumed. This sounds easy and it is not, it takes all our courage tenacity and skill to keep afloat at times.

    Chris, post more it helps everyone, we need positive role models like you to shine the light on our future.

    Take care John.

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