When Chronic Pain Attacks, It's Okay to Rest

(repost from 3.19.2016)

Chronic pain is not fun at all.  When it flares up, everything suffers: us, our creativity, our homes, our duties, our meals, everything.

Right now, my house looks insane.  My kitchen looks insane.  I feel insane.  I am only doing the least I can in order to get by.  All day I've been playing Angry Birds on my son's tablet because that's pretty much the only action my body can perform today (other than writing this blog).  I am not particularly crabby, but I find I've been very crabby online responding to comments on Facebook to perfect strangers, so I had to shut that off  before I said something really stupid.  My tolerance for other people's silliness is very low when I am in pain.

My hands hurt, my face hurts, my head hurts, my neck hurts, my shoulders hurt, my arms hurt, my elbows hurt, my upper back hurts....though my legs are okay (this time) but they hurt normally so it's nice to get a break, I guess.

I also can't think right.  I have a hard time remembering things and even concentrating on anything.  This has caused horrible anxiety all week long, as well has waking up each morning feeling like I need 10 more hours of sleep.  Fibromayalgia is the most likely culprit, but my rheumatologist was a total asshole and could care less what was wrong with me, she just wanted to throw muscle relaxers at me.

No matter what is causing your pain flare (or feeling of unwellness), we all know the outcome: everything falls behind.  Our houses become a total mess, our meals lack because we are unable to prepare them (and at times, unable to choose properly what will nourish us because we're too sick or hurt to care), and our lives are put on hold.  Everything is at a standstill until we feel better.

Luckily, my kids will listen to me at times, and will clean for me or even cook (or go out and get me food, as they did today) and my hubby does whatever he can to help out as well.  But not all of us have that or even if we do, we just don't care enough to ask for help because we feel so crappy.

But they can't help us update our blogs.  They can't do our artwork or read books for us.  So no matter what, when we're unwell, things will fall by the wayside.  And we have to be okay with that.  So we don't get a blog out or we don't finish our projects in time...we just have to chalk it up to life.  Life is chaotic.  And sometimes our bodies are chaotic.  We can't predict when our bodies will act up, so give yourself the time heal and forget about everything you're forgetting about :)

Right now, typing is hurting the holy hell out of my fingers, so I will cut this blog short, but know it's okay to walk away from something that's not making you feel better when you're sick.  Like, right now, I am at the tail's end of my creative project for the first quarter (I will add a link here to soon my quarterly project sheet) and I need to finish it.  But damn if I will try to crochet (or god forbid KNIT) with stiff and achy fingers.  I won't torture myself for the sake of a deadline.  Especially a self-imposed deadline.  If I have to push my project back a few days, I will.  And I won't feel bad about it, because today I just read a great explanation for pain and sickness: it's our body's way of telling us to "SLOW DOWN".  So if I push on through (if I don't really need to), then I am only going to get worse.  And that's not worth it.  Remember that your health is worth more than a clean house, clean dishes, home cooked meals, self-imposed deadlines (and even some that aren't self-imposed), and everything else.

YOU come first.  So take the time you need to rest (and while you're resting, use the time to brainstorm some new ideas for artwork, creative adventures, and organizing...use your phone's voice memo if you can't type or write...or just go take a nap) and get back to your work when you're better.  But for now, just delegate everything that needs to be done to your family members (if you can) and take time for YOU!  

Hope you're doing well out there, friends, and feel free to put off today what can be done tomorrow.

If you live with chronic pain, or chronic anything, let me know below and share your story.  When you share your stories, you let others know they aren't alone 😏

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