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When You Realize the Pain Is in Control

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I am what some may call “structured” or an “in control” type of person. I prepare for the next day the night before, I lay out clothes and get meals prepped. I like to be ready for anything and just be prepared.

When I was diagnosed with lupus, I thought I would be fine. I would take my pills as directed and I would be able to carry on like normal. When I started walking with a cane, and the meds weren’t working like I thought, the pain gained control. I would go to sleep with hardly any pain, and wake up not being able to walk.

I became depressed and isolated myself. I didn’t like the way people reacted to me and my pain. I didn’t like the looks I got. I didn’t like that I couldn’t ward off the pain and I didn’t like that the pills weren’t working. I reached a very dark place and felt like I couldn’t get out.

One day sitting with my mom, I just started sobbing. I knew I had to change my life. I knew I had to stop with this train of thought. I knew I had to step out of the dark and back into the light. With some soul-searching, I finally did.

There were a few things that helped me.

I had to realize that I am no longer in control. I could not be able to predict what my body was going to do. I just had to wait and see what was going to happen.

I had to be happy with my good days. I had to enjoy my days and take them when I could get them.

I had to learn to pace myself. I had to learn to rest when I could, and not push myself too hard.

I had to enrich myself with others who are going through what I was. I had to communicate with lupus survivors so I don’t feel alone.

I had to realize that it’s no one else’s fault. I had to see that they are not here to bring pain, they are here to help with the pain. Stop taking it out on them.

Lastly, I had to push myself to be happy. Yes, I’m in pain. Yes, I have the choice to be angry. But it’s a choice.

It is amazing how many people see you as a hero, not a burden. People see that you are trying, that you are struggling, that you are overcoming. You may not be in control of how you feel because of the pain, but you are in control of how you handle it and how you let it influence your life. Show how strong you are. Don’t let the pain win.

Getty image by V_sot

Originally published: December 18, 2017
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