Lighten the Load With Chronic Pain
Last updated: January 2023
Pain is exhausting. It’s exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Yet here we are, living with chronic pain. We still want to enjoy our life, but it’s easy to lose motivation and momentum when you’re constantly in pain and exhausted.
I don’t know a solution or if one even exists. But I know that lightening the load in my life has helped me deal with this pain tremendously.
It came out of necessity.
Feeling weighed down by demands
I couldn’t sustain the constant treadmill that I was on from my type A, over-achiever mindset and lifestyle.
It didn’t matter how much I accomplished. I always had more on the to-do list. I never allowed myself to be done or feel successful.
This weighs on you when you have all the health and energy in the world. But this completely weighs you down when you’re living with a chronic illness like endometriosis (and I guess for good measure, I’m also living with migraines and multiple sclerosis).
So, I can either keep up the battle by setting impossible goals for myself and keep struggling. Another option is for me to lighten my load.
Choosing my priorities
I can choose to hit pause to decide what’s important to me. That’s what deserves my time.
It’s still hard saying no to things you wish you had more energy to do, but it feels better when you’re making an intentional decision about where your energy goes and knowing it’s going to what is most important to you.
For me, faith and family always top my list. So that means having the energy to start my day with a daily devotional and church on Sunday.
There have been many weeks where I pushed myself too far on Saturday and therefore didn’t have the energy to go to church on Sunday. Yes, I can watch the service online now, living in a post-pandemic world, but I miss out on the interaction with the people in church, and that’s something that fills me up more than accomplishing all of my errands on a Saturday.
My family comes first
My next priority is my family. My husband and daughter deserve the best of me – not my leftovers. I want the most energy I can have for my active one-year-old daughter, and I’m a tired 43-year-old momma.
So, as I look at all the other “things” in my life, if they take away either of these priorities, it’s easier to say no, or at least not right now. Saying no now doesn’t mean I can’t revisit something in another season of life when I may have more energy.
Managing energy with a chronic illness is like a game of Tetris. There’s a lot of maneuvering around, but you must first put the biggest pieces (your priorities) in.
What can you do to lighten your load and make your life with chronic pain a little easier?
Which symptoms are you experiencing the most this week? (Check all that apply):