This year has been one of the most “different” and “difficult” ones in my life. I have been very, very fortunate all my life so I also know that my definition of “difficult” comes no where close to what so many others have had to experience.
In January I was down with the flu (should have gotten the shot). This lasted 2 weeks and then I thought I was on to a great year. Fast forward to mid February - I have four days of strange unrelenting chest pain. By the 17th I had the outbreak of Shingles (didn’t get that vaccine either like an idiot). The Shingles itself wasn’t so bad but then Bang! I started having this pain that I can only describe as a cow being branded - every 15-30 seconds(another person I met described it aptly as feeling like having an iron put on your skin and then lifted off). This pain has persisted for 10 1/2 months now with no real end in sight.
This chronic pain has been debilitating for me. I have only been able to go to work because I can endure it with my TENS unit. But I go to work and then come home and do nothing but try to deal with the pain until it’s time to go to bed.
So what have I lost this year? Essentially my old life.
I can’t run and running is such a key part of me and my life. I won’t elaborate more on this because it would take a long time and you’d most likely be bored by the time I stopped.
I have lost contact with my running friends since I haven’t been able to go to any running events. Sure, I’ve kept in contact on Facebook but then I have to see all their running activities. But that would be depressing because I’d want to be out there with them.
I don’t go out or do anything because I have to wear normal clothes and my TENS (the electrodes of which cause skin irritation when you’re wearing it constantly for 10 months).
My attention has been on one thing and one thing only - is the pain coming? How long will it last? When will it stop? Given the pathology of the brain in chronic pain, there has been no space left for me to concentrate on anything else.
I haven’t written anything, not even this blog. No matter how much I think “I should write something” it hasn’t clicked into action because I’ve been so wrapped up in and by the chronic pain.
And to top this all off, I lost my very best friend in the world this summer. That rocked my world completely. The emotions of loss are so similar to the emotions of chronic pain. There’s a paralysis that grabs hold of you. You don’t even want to get out of the paralyzed state. So, the last several months have been even less productive than the ones before it (which is hard to imagine).
I have lost site of all my goals. My life consists of going to work and coming home to sit in my recliner and then go to bed. It used to be so much fuller. Where has everything gone? I just live pretty much minute to minute without any thought about the distant future. And, at my age, you want to make sure you use every minute of your day in the fullest possible manner.
Then in November I lost my previous boss. This man was totally amazing. He had stage IV lung cancer when he was my boss and came to work every single day during chemo and radiation. He never missed one day at all. He had the most positive and grateful attitude I’ve ever seen. He lived 6 additional years and gave so much to others during that time.
During this holiday season preparing for the New Year, I sat and thought about so much that has happened this past year and I knew I wanted to get back to blogging and writing books. But for some reason I just couldn’t do it. However, I know that the most powerful force in the Universe is gratitude and that I really needed to focus on that. So, I just started thinking of things to be grateful for from this past year. And I realized I have gained so much through all this loss..
I have gained a greater understanding of chronic pain and now have a much greater compassion for those experiencing it.
Because I couldn’t go to at least one of the events, I was able to ‘gift’ my entrance fee to another person who is so wonderful and raises money for pancreatic cancer research. He was so excited that it made me feel so good I could help him.
I met people who knew my best friend (she lived about 1500 miles away from me) and they shared stories about her that were so fulfilling. It was great to meet them and talk with them and I gained so much just from an afternoon with them all. I have even become friends with her business partner as a result. How precious is that?
I also realized that my best friend and my former boss are role models for me even though they have passed. They both have qualities I yearn for and instead of thinking “what would Jesus do?”, I can simply ask what would one them do? That gives me most of the answers I need.
I have changed my primary “charity” focus from St Jude Children’s Research Hospital to helping the homeless population in America and especially battered/abused women who finally get the courage to leave their environment and then have no place to go. In addition, I am really interested in the “no kid hungry” movement too. There are so many people in need that our help. They have things so much worse than we could ever imagine.
I have read more books than I have in my life. Even though most of them were novels, it was still wonderful to fill my brain with the words and works of others.
I “met”/found more people who have crossed the US on foot and have been able to follow their treks - this has helped me prepare for my trip.
I have reunited with my EFT practitioner and learned and used the newest form of EFT - optimal EFT - a very enlightening experience. This reunion and sessions with this wonderful person has also led to many more of my blessings.
I have been introduced to Dr. Joe Dispenza, whom I knew from the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know?” about Quantum physics and reality. He has done some fantastic work that I am now immersed in because it’s helped me change in so many ways.
I learned about neuroplasticity through Dr. Joe and then through the many other researchers in this field. There has been scientific evidence discovered in the past several years which how that we can rewire our brains and change our lives in whatever way we want. I have been working on it trying to rewire my pain receptors and although that has been very slow, the other changes in my life have been much more significant. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that.
As a result of studying this, I am going to go to a workshop in January (actually it’s two workshops in one week) where there will be intense meditations and energy exchange. I am so excited about this.
I have seen a “functional medicine” doctor in Austin to see what he can do, if anything, about the postherpetic neuralgia. He gave me supplements and told me what foods to eliminate. He said this will work even though it may take a few months.
I have made some major decisions about my future and finally committed to these changes. This is most exciting to me.
I am sure there is so much more but I wanted to give you a taste of how important it is to look at the good in your life no matter how bad you feel and no matter how much pain you’re experiencing. The Gratitude will elevate your emotions and it will help your mood no matter what.
I want to remind you that you can pick up a free electronic Gratitude Journal, which I created for you. It works on Windows operating systems only but does work with Windows 10. You can even use the popup function so that you can record something that happens or something you think of as you think of them - so you don’t have to try to remember what to be thankful for.
Remember to be grateful for things that have not yet gotten here but that you want to happen. This is powerful and it helps give the Universe the energy to bring you what you’re looking for.
Thanks for all your well wishes and for sticking with me all this time. I hope to be able to continue blogging again even if it’s on a bit less frequency.
Have a wonderful new year everyone!