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The One Thing That Boosts My Self-Esteem as a Person With Chronic Pain

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Since becoming chronically ill when I was just transitioning into adulthood, I’ve been incredibly fortunate enough to meet some truly amazing souls. They’re people who, in spite of chronic pain, choose to live the best life that they possibly can by not allowing pain and despair to take hold of them.

I live in constant pain every hour of every day and have to take pain medicine around the clock just to control it. I admit the positive attitude I now possess didn’t come easily. After giving birth to my son, Syrus, in 2010, the pain really took hold. I was in the darkest depths of despair — the absolute lowest place I could have ever been. Even looking at my son’s tiny little face and his sweet little smile wasn’t enough to pull me out of it. I would tell myself, “My son deserves a better mother than me.”

So what changed? How did this transformation happen? It didn’t come easily — that’s for certain. The first step was in admitting that there was a problem. There was a small speckle of hope — a little light shining — somewhere deep down within my soul that made me say to myself, “No, you can’t give up yet.”

I found my way to therapy, began seeing new doctors and my hope renewed. Life was beginning to feel wonderful again. A little smile from my Syrus would make my entire day. An intensive therapy program helped restore my self-confidence and self-esteem. I wasn’t feeling so worthless anymore, thinking I was useless to everybody.

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t still have days like that. There are days when I still feel like life isn’t worth getting up out of bed for. I’d much rather lie there for the rest of the day, feeling sorry for myself.

But I always force myself to get up because one thing that helps boost my self-esteem is to do something productive. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something — even if it’s just one small thing.

In the end, it’s always about how you perceive yourself. If you resolve to be miserable, then that’s exactly what’s going to happen. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, if you resolve you’re going to be a happy person in spite of your condition, then and only then will you be able to start truly living life.

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: January 20, 2017
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