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I Refuse to Let Chronic Pain Get in the Way of My Dreams

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I’ve seen countless doctors who have told me I should consider rethinking what direction I want to go in my life. Since I was going to have pain every day for the rest of my life, and my condition was only going to get worse, I was told that maybe I needed to rethink my hopes and dreams – this picture of my life I had envisioned might not be so feasible anymore.

Suddenly, my dreams came to a halt in the midst of my diagnosis. I felt crushed, like every hope and dream I had ever had was stolen. I felt as if there was no point. But even in this endless darkness, in this valley of fear and despair, there was something. It was a small flicker, a glimmer of hope. A small fiber of my being had the will to push on. And push on I did. I began to reconstruct my dreams, choosing to believe I could achieve them, just maybe not in the exact same way I had once thought possible.

It was in this place that I realized my diagnosis hadn’t stolen my dreams, it had simply changed them. They would be much more difficult to reach, because the road would be much tougher. But I chose to walk on anyway. I willed myself to not listen to all of the doctors who tried to tear down the hopes and dreams I had built. Things were different now but they weren’t over. My story was only beginning and I had to hold on to that.

I could still have a career I loved, I could still get married and have a family of my own, I could still make a difference in the world. In the midst of my diagnosis, in my own dimension of darkness, I refused to let myself believe that my diagnosis had stolen my dream. In fact, my diagnosis might have even planted the seed of some new dreams within me, things I had never considered before. My diagnosis didn’t disrupt my dream after all – if anything, it gave me the courage to believe I could actually achieve my dreams.

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Photo via ClusterX on Getty Images

Originally published: January 17, 2018
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