Chronic pain can often feel isolating, especially when my physical exhaustion is pulling me into the black hole in my bed. My bed tempts me to slumber into avoidance, acedia, and self–centeredness which yanks me from the reality of my life, the reality that I am in a relationship with Jesus–even while my body parts are personified as Job, feeling abandoned by God.
The thing is, I have not yet found my “formula” of the daily grind with fibro, but I do find a few things that make a difference: (ranked from 1-4 in importance)
- Prayer time of 30-45 minutes. Letting God in, He lets me in and I can hear His voice speaking in to my circumstances, fears, desires, aches and pains.
- Sleeping early and waking up early. I find myself most physically and mentally alert and resilient in my aches and pains when I am in bed no later than 8:30PM and wake up by 5:30AM. But of course, how successful I am when the whole world seems to wake up around 8:30PM and sleeps in till 10:30AM? If I turn down a birthday party, it’s because I gotta sleep.
- Doing some yoga positions before I sleep and after I wake up. (I do not follow the spirituality of yoga because it is not compatible with my Catholic faith), but doing yoga on a regular basis has TREMENDOUSLY helped me to manage my pain and my mood.
- Turmeric, Ginger, anti-inflammatory foods. Helps with pain control. Turmeric and ginger are in my Squad! This is last in my list because I can make do. I am still learning what my body communicates to me when I am not consuming anti-inflammatory foods.
These things are currently the legs of my “ergonomic chair.” I have additional things as part of my routine that I’ll share in a different post.
Faithfulness to the legs of my ergonomic chair is crucial. When I am not faithful, my sense of resilience dwindles, and then I see EVERYTHING as a heavy cross to carry: dishes, laundry, reading the Bible, making a phone call, sending that e-mail, etc.
And then I isolate. Binge on media, especially the news. Focus on solving other people’s problems while ignoring mine. Make constant beelines to cheese, bread, and dessert. Mess in my room piles up.
My eyes are turned inward. Seeing EVERYTHING in the context of my pain, forgetting the context of my faith.
So what brings me back to my routine?
The Sacrament of Reconciliation.
My Father waits for me. His mercy waits for me.
And I am constantly reminded that my pain is not to be hogged. But my pain is Jesus’ pain.
I am chuckling thinking of this.
The thing that I wrestle with the most is the thing that draws me closer to Jesus.
Lord, I ask for holy resilience. Help me to embrace your cross, so I can embrace my cross. Help me to embrace your Life and Resurrection, so I can embrace my life and resurrection. Come Holy Spirit, come and fill me with the gift of Fortitude in my journey.
Thank you for answering my prayers. Amen.
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