Okay, this is it.
I’m putting this into print, pressing publish and not looking back.
This needs to get off my chest to allow me to move forward faster, freer and much lighter!
The short version is this: my body has succumbed to chronic pain and illness. Yes, chronic as in the pain/illness does not go away. Chronic = all the time in varying degrees. Yes, as the dictionary says “constantly recurring.”
Please don’t misinterpret my intention in sharing this here. . .
I am NOT seeking sympathy, suggestions or assistance (although prayer is always appreciated J). I am simply sharing this information as a way of coming clean and possibly enabling you to understand me better. If this, too, is your situation, you know and/or love someone who shares this situation or you would like to know more about chronic pain and illness, I’m here for you, too. Undoubtedly this topic will come up again and there will be resources made available here, too.
Sometimes I experience periods of time when I’m able to be less-conscious of these pains/illnesses (sort of like being consciously unaware of the sensation of your underwear on your skin) and I can physically function more “normally.” Recently however, these times of being more functional have become fewer and farther between. Essentially, there is an ebb and flow to the intensity of the pain and a concurrent ebb and flow to my abilities to function fully.
A truth: hello, my name is Jennifer and I am less than fully-abled.
Ouch – that admission is certainly not an easy one to make. Sort of smacks one in the face, actually. Cannot deny it, though. Don’t want sympathy for it, either. Just face forward and keep moving!
Now that you’ve read that. . .
do you think less of me now that I’ve made that admission? Does it really matter to me if you do think less of me because of it?
A HUGE issue with “coming out” is making sure everyone (me included) understands that who I am is not chronic pain/illness. I have chronic pain/illness BUT I am not defined by the chronic pain/illness. I don’t own it per se, but there are days that it sure feels like it owns me. Yes, these chronic conditions affect all of me all of the time – sometimes in more obvious ways than others.
Having isn’t the same as being. I have chronic pain and illness but I am not only chronic pain or illness. Although I do live day in and day out with chronic pain and illness, I am not defined by that same chronic pain/illness. Chronic pain and illness are not the essence of me.
Does that make sense to you?
These chronic physical challenges definitely affect much of what I can and/or want to do. Their effects are noticeable in my physical capabilities and sometimes my mental capacities (ever heard the term “fibro fog?”). Several other factors also affect my functioning: over doing one day sinks me for several thereafter, weather, stress, nutrition, exercise, other people, location and time of day. I’m learning to take everything into account!
So, all that said to also say. . .I know and believe that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” by the Creator of the universe and my Heavenly Father holds me in the palm of His hand. I am His and He is mine and I know He holds my present and future secure. I do not fear what lies ahead and I am grateful for my life each day.
Yup. . .we all gotta Carpe Diem in whatever way(s) possible!!