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Making Peace With Bad Days in My Life With Chronic Pain

I have been feeling a lot of anger lately.

I am angry that I can’t achieve the grades that once came easily to me. I am angry that I can’t keep up with my endless appointments and pharmacy trips, navigating my university’s attempts at disability accommodation, making my pain bearable, volunteering as a peer supporter and completing my schoolwork. I am angry that this year has not been going the way I had planned.

And right now, I am angry that I am sitting at home, hyping myself up to run one errand (the pharmacy, of course), and dreading the single assignment I must complete today. It is too much. I am so tired. And I wish this wasn’t my life.

But it is my life. This is the one life I have been given, and it is a good life. Everybody has problems of varying degrees, and the only thing we can do is get on with things. My life includes suffering, but it also includes love, learning, joy, connection and so much more. There are so many good things in my life. Maybe today isn’t my best day, but all I need to do on days like this is survive to see the next good day. And I can do that. I know how to do that. Instead of resenting my life for the ways it fails to meet my expectations, I can spend my energy feeling grateful for the ways it surpasses my expectations. I can be grateful for the beautiful, strong survivors who surround me, and for the work done by disability rights activists before I was born to ensure I enjoy some semblance of equality.

I am still sad that my life will never be quite what I imagined as a child. I am not trying to cover up that sadness, or push it away. I have just realized it is a better use of my energy to seek out all the good that exists in this life instead of wishing for a different life with different good things. Despite my sadness, I am making peace with this life, bad days and all.

Getty image by lupashchenkoiryna.