by Gracie Bagosy-Young
This blog was originally posted on The National Pain Report. Click here to see it there. Gracie discusses how CRPS helped her learn a lesson about herself. This involved finding the fruits of life every day.
I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome many years ago. Sometimes I forget how long it has been. Of course, no one explained what those 4 letters meant to me, they simply wrote them on a piece of paper and told me to google them. I left there irritated and confused. After some research, I landed on words like “incurable” and “lifelong” and those feelings soon turned to anger. That anger ate me up! It was rotting me from the inside out, and I was not going to recover in that state. It was not healthy at all.
I have grown a lot since then. I have reached out and met hundreds of thousands of amazing souls struggling with these same 4 letters, along with other chronic pain issues. Chronic pain has a way of slowing you down and forcing you to think.
The biggest lesson that I have learned is to find the fruits of life-the beauty in everyday living that I was too busy to see before.
Patience: I had none! Who had time for that? I was not patient with myself or anyone else. I was constantly busy. My body simply does not allow that any longer. I don’t mind when someone cuts in front of me in traffic-maybe they are headed to the hospital. While I was obsessively early prior to this diagnosis, I am ok with arriving just in time if it takes me a little longer to get ready. I used to hate broken plans. Now I understand that is not always a sign of disrespect, many times people are facing battles that we cannot see.
Pride: I was proud to a fault. Having been raised by a single father, he taught me that vulnerability was a weakness and I should always be strong. It was EXTREMELY difficult, but I have learned that the only way to be authentic is to share your vulnerabilities. It is best to allow others to help you, because that is how they show you that they love you. It is also ok to ask for help when you need it!
Silence: I never had an appreciation of silence. Even if I were messing around the house, I always had the TV or music on in the background. I also had kids. Now I crave silence. My nerves are doing crazy things on the inside of my body and I cannot control them. I feel the need to appreciate the silence and stillness that I can control on the outside.
Love: Learn to love yourself. Stop hating your body, it is the only one you get! Take care of it, feed it well. My Pastor said, “Look around at your friends and you will see your future.” If you are surrounded by toxic people, MAKE THAT CHANGE! I did. Love yourself and the right people will find you.
Nature: OK, maybe this is just my age speaking here, but sunsets have never been so beautiful, flowers have never smelled so sweet, and the sound of the ocean has never been so alluring! I love getting lost in the woods. Nature is healing. Unplug. Relax. It’s worth it.
Find the fruits in life or allow yourself to rot inside with bitterness. The choice is yours.