How Chronic Pain Helps You Grow
By Jordan | @TheChronicallyUnimaginable | Sept 3, 2019
Pain is the fire from with we are forged. Whatever type of pain you experience, it is a great teacher, slowly molding us into the people we are meant to become. So often, pain is looked at with a grimace. It is something we flip over backwards in order to forget. We run from our painful emotions and sprint away from the mere possibility of physical suffering. Why? Well of course it is natural to want to avoid pain. The problem arises when that pain becomes chronic. Then we find ourselves forever hiding, running, and escaping this negative experience. What if I told you that life with chronic pain didn't have to be this way?
For many people, chronic pain feels like a death sentence. We are thrust into a new world where our bodies are fighting against us. It's easy to choose to give up when you live this way. However, I've found that chronic pain is a great refiner. Not only do we gain knowledge from our daily battles, but wisdom as well. Ongoing pain presents a unique situation from which one can face the same problem continuously. At the beginning, we are like a fish without water. Just flopping everywhere with no real purpose. Yet each day as we face the same battle, we learn from the day before. Our toolbelt of tips and tricks begins to grow. This daily occurrence of chronic pain gives us a special advantage to be enlightened. Most people take their entire lives to learn the life lessons that we unconsciously grasp from the start. No one else is privileged with this type of discretion.
As we are learning from our chronic pain, we are presented with the prospect of self discovery. When you face the wretched experience that is chronic pain, you are introduced to your real self. Chronic pain takes away the ability to do many of our previous activities, but it also highlights parts of ourselves that aren't exactly picture perfect. As a healthy person living in society, we often mold ourselves to fit the standards of the day. Being stripped of this burden, one can truly look at themselves, akin to how we think in early childhood. For example, I learned that I didn't really care about what people thought of me. Pre-pain, this was something that I was obsessed with and it took over much of my attention. Chronic pain gave me a freedom to see myself in a different light. It allowed me to get to know myself, much as I would get to know another person. I am so blessed because of that.
Growing from chronic pain is also shown when one finds their purpose. As I talked about above, we often are given the ability to discover our true selves because of pain. Whether you worked full time, went to school, or have always had chronic pain, society teaches us that we are defined by what we do. When our path changes, we are left feeling worthless and like we have nothing to contribute to the world. Yet little by little, we realize that our special circumstances gives us the ability to help in a different way. In my life, I decided to become an advocate for others like me. My goal has and is to change the way that people look at chronic illness. I also support fellow warriors, educate, and empower my community. I always thought that I would work in the accounting field, but helping others fills my soul.
The reasons I've listed above are great, but in my opinion, healing is the best way chronic pain helps you to grow. How does one heal from chronic pain? Sit tight and let me explain. Physically healthy people in society may have the ability to go to work and whatnot, but many of them are broken inside. Chronic pain has taught me how important mental health is, whether or not you deal with mental illness. Society is a race. We are conditioned to be magnificent individuals worthy of competing for jobs, grades, attention, and much more. However, many people don't realize the negative impact that this has on one's psyche. Chronic pain has granted me the separation needed in order to heal my mind. By going to therapy, talking to others in the same boat, and just reflecting, I've been able to change the way I view life. My priorities are vastly different than they were before I was sick. I highly value enjoying the day over doing something like cleaning. I wouldn't change my situation for anything.
Chronic pain is one of the most difficult things that a person can ever deal with. There are so many days filled with agony, weeping, distress, and hopelessness. This type of pain seems like the proverbial dragon that is impossible to slay. We are prisoners, trapped in our suffering. Be that as it may, chronic pain also supplies us with a foundation from which to grow. We are able to gain great wisdom, discover our self, find our purpose, and heal. While chronic pain is often a lifetime condition, so are the listed advantages. As this quote declares, "Sometimes you must hurt in order to know, fall in order to grow, lose in order to gain, because life's greatest lessons are learned through pain" (Unknown). I couldn't have summed it up better myself.
Bio: Jordyn C. is a chronically ill blogger who runs The Chronically Unimaginable. She is very involved in the chronic illness, mental health, and disability communities. Jordyn is an active volunteer for the Chronic Disease Coalition and a Brand Ambassador for Ivye Wear. Her work has been published on The Mighty and on several guest blogs. She is actively looking for opportunities to share her story. You can find her on her blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.