I’m not feeling at my best today. A rather negative way to begin an article but really, we all have that feeling at some point or another. I guess you know what I’m talking about.
When I feel this way, I search for escape. The problem is though; I have a nervous system illness that is irritated when the air pressure drops.
Finding my way out . . .
Chronic pain is extremely distracting there is no doubt, and so far I’ve not managed to find a way erase it. That said, there are ways to push it into the background so I can get on with my life.
Adopt a growth mindset. I read and engage with the work of Deepak Chopra and many others. Deepak said research has shown that when adversity strikes, happier people tend to see creative opportunities, while unhappier people see adversity.
“It’s programmed through childhood through a phenomenon called mirror neurons,” he says. “If you saw people complaining all the time when you were a kid, that’s what you do. Your neurons mirror the behavior.”
Going back to 1999 when I had the accident that started this illness, I adopted a mantra and repeated to myself whenever the going got tough.
Positive, Dynamic Solutions
When it went off the1 to 10 scale, I searched for something positive to distract and distance myself from the pain. Sometimes I failed, there were times when I stumbled but I always picked myself up.
The Internet was a shadow of what it is today but there were opportunities and I seized a few and developed an ‘eZine; ‘ I guess you might call it a motivational blog. Writing positive articles was life changing; the positive comments from almost 5000 readers were almost secondary to the learning I experienced through researching and writing the articles.
A visit to the doctor one day slammed my positive attitude so hard that I fell into a deep slumber for several months. He increased the so-called pain relieving opiates to the maximum dose and staying awake during the day was a challenge in itself. He also told me it was “unlikely” I would ever walk again. The diagnosis forced my employer to retire me.
Nevertheless, I changed my drugged mindset, stepped away from the problem and looked for opportunities by increasing my input to KEYZine, my online blog. It wasn’t known as a blog yet, that term hadn’t surfaced.
I also decided to engage the enemy by learning everything I could about the illness. I started to accept it and get on with my life. I engaged what Deepak calls the “unfriendlies.” He talked about them as people; my unfriendlies were an illness causing debilitating pain and a society discriminating against me because I couldn’t participate as expected.
It took a while but with lots of study and incredible support from my partner and our family, I am back on my mountain bike and skiing Pyrenean slopes when the snow falls. I have dozens of books to write and thousands more to read. Medication is necessary at very low levels and like today, following a long journey yesterday evening, the pain occasionally resurfaces only to be forced back again after I engage and challenge.
“Adopt a growth mindset
Engage the “unfriendlies
I do those things every day and they have led to Positive, Dynamic Solutions