Changes for the better

When your body is driving you past the point of madness, it’s easy to blame everything wrong in your life on that and on nothing else. I know without a doubt, chronically ill or not, at least once you have said to yourself “If this pain would just go away, then…….” It might have just been a headache, or post operation pain, but it was enough for you to feel that life was impossible as you were. Admittedly, when you are consumed by pain, it’s almost impossible to think clearly, far less gather thoughts of the level required to make sense of life. Living with chronic pain, unfortunately, often means that we land up live in our own isolated bubble. Life goes on around us, we interact occasionally but retreat quickly with that next spasm or lighting bolt. Somewhere along the line our health has taken precedence over everything else, including logic. It doesn’t take much brain power to work out that if our minds are at peace, we don’t just manage our pain better, but we can actually make our entire lives better. I am constantly being asked how it is that I am always so upbeat, positive about life and clearly happy. To be honest, it is a side effect. Not from a tablet, I wish life were that simple, we would all be smiling forever. No drug works like that, so forget even trying to find one. It’s actually really simple, I don’t have anything not to be happy about and I can explain it in just one paragraph.

I know that looking at my life on the surface, from being thrown out and living alone as a 14-year-old right through to today, on the surface, the picture isn’t pretty. There was one thing that I learned when I was 14, there is no point fighting someone who has all the power. It’s better to outsmart them and let them show themselves for what they are. As you already know that is a rule I have also applied to my health, accept it, don’t fight it and outsmart it whenever you can. There was a bigger thing that I learnt years later and it meant that I had to spend years applying it both retrospectively and right through to the present day. I learnt to forgive those who hurt me, from the smallest to the biggest and it is something else that I also apply to my health. As I worked through my life, I found that I also had one other person to forgive and that was myself. It’s amazing the number of times that things were actually our fault. Yesterday, I gave you the physical steps to reducing pain and the start of becoming a more relaxed person, well, this is the second part. We can relax our bodies as much as we want but if our brain is screwed up by hate, anxiety and pain of the past, that relaxation is only skin deep. It will still help, but our past is all too often the root of stress in our lives today. I defy anyone who has as much time on their hands as someone who is either no longer working or fully housebound, to stop their brains from reaching back there almost daily. It’s not easy, I won’t lie to you, it’s really, really, hard. But apart from marrying Adam, it is the best thing I have ever done. I have forgiven and accepted everything that was or is. Without them eating away at me, my life isn’t just peaceful, it’s happy.

I think we often forget just how much our mental state affects our physical one. I can’t make myself well again, but I can make where I am in life as acceptable and happy as possible. I think if you go back to my first year of writing there is far more about how I changed my life, as it was still a daily ongoing activity. Just like using waves of relaxing throughout the day has reduced my pain levels and kept me a little more sane, keeping my mind at peace has played a huge part. I used to be a real worrier, someone who would wind themselves up about the most stupid of things. Unless something outside or my control upsets me, these days I am not only relaxed, but I am probably the most mentally laid back person I have ever known. Oddly, that is something that my health has given to me. When you have been given a death sentence and you know that clock is ticking down, there are only two choices ahead of you. I wasn’t going to let depression take away the years I still had. I chose the only option that made sense, I was going to live the time that clock gave me and be happy throughout. Just like I occasionally get my relaxation wrong, at times my happiness fails me too. It is another of those things that you have to keep in check, but it’s so worth it.

I know that my brain is slowly being eaten by lesions. I know that it means that my memory isn’t as sharp as it once was and that is only going to get worse. I also know that it isn’t just my memory that it’s taking, but it has and is slowly changing me as a person. I am well aware of the personality changes that have appeared over the years and how I don’t deal with every situation as well as I did. I can’t deal with change and million other things and as it appeared stronger and stronger each time, I began to fear it. I didn’t like what was happening to me and although I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stop it, I believed that I could add controls. Just as the physical pain was reduced by relaxation, the peace it brought with it actually has changed the frequency of my losing control. It’s also the reason that I am using it more and more all the time. By keeping myself so much calmer all the time, I am clearly not so close to the edge all the time. I have at times been able to feel it starting and been able to keep it at a more acceptable level. I’m not expecting to be able to control it forever. I know that it will just get worse, but if I can make even a tiny difference, it’s worth it. Adam has enough to deal with, without me exploding into an irrational and scared mess over nothing. You see, all of this hasn’t just been for my benefit, it’s also been for his, as I believe I am also a nicer person to be around. To me, that is a good enough reason for anyone to at least try.

Please read my blog from 2 years ago – 22/08/2013 – Passing on the full story

There are always those times when without reason or clear trigger that your mind rushes off, looking at something from the past or the possible future, and it all happens without your permission. In some ways looking to the future was a refreshing process after…….

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