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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Do your part

I realized yesterday that healing from anything, whether it be physical or mental, is only partly due to the help of professionals and their talents and machines. It is also due in a large part to believing that autonomy is possible. This thought reminded me of a piece I wrote toward the end of 2012 after going through a battle with back and hip pain that didn't seem to want to leave my body. I retrieved it, did some editing and here it is good as new or perhaps better even.

Dear Pain,

If we could just talk perhaps I could figure out why you are still here. I realize that I have not fully learned what you came to teach me or you would be gone. I am trying I really am and I think you know that because there are times when you ease off a little and let me breathe. It is at those times I remember what it was like before you made yourself known in my life.

The last few years have been the most stressful of my entire life, even more than when I was diagnosed with cancer in 1989. At least then I knew there would be an end to my pain. Now I just pray you will go away so I can get back to living my life. Because of you and the lessons I have learned there have been some changes. I no longer need to depend on other people the way I used to. I have felt as if I have been residing on a desert island alone. I have been forced to do things myself and learned that the help I thought I needed was all in my mind. I am a lot more capable than I thought I was.

When you are around I stop and observe my thoughts and actions and do whatever I can to help the situation, even if that means doing nothing. I am aware that there is always a reason for your presence. I am also aware that I do not always know what that reason is.

I am doing everything that I know how to do to get my body back to being pain free. I have worked damn hard and I deserve credit for taking every opportunity that was offered to heal.

From past experience I know that you can go away at any time. I remember the heal spur I developed in 2008, causing me to walk with a limp for some time. Then there was the morning I woke up with a knee so full of pain I could not walk without holding onto something. There was also the time I hit my elbow so hard it hurt for weeks. I won’t even go into the surgeries I have had. Pain stopped on its own when the time was right.

Your presence hasn’t been all bad. You kept me from taking jobs that would have caused further damage to my body. You also kept me home when gas prices were the highest they have been in years. Apparently I didn’t need the extra money working would have brought in after all. For awhile I was upset because it hurt to walk at the family center. That wasn’t a bad thing either because I needed to try out another form of exercise.

I am grateful that you are not present as often as you used to be and I am taking that as a sign that I am on the right track.

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