Winter is here. All of us with chronic pain are getting our “bundle up” clothes out, getting our layers of clothes ready. I have a window during the day of about three and half hours when I can get by with a light sweater top or a light sweater over a long-sleeved top, with scarf. Mornings, I crawl out of bed to touch a cold floor. I put on my pj sweater to make my tea in the cold, cold kitchen. Then, I pull open the curtains and get to my couch to cover up with a throw blanket while I wait for the sun to warm the room. By the early evening the process starts again.
When I go to bed, I keep my pj sweater, sweatpants, and socks on. This despite having a down comforter and a thickly knit blanket on the bed already. I am keeping a scarf, hat and gloves at ready in my car. This does not include the few extra warm pull-over jackets with hoods that are always in my trunk. Or all the socks that are strewn about the house, socks that just a few weeks ago were put away for the summer.
I love the winter months, with all its glorious sunsets created by the rain clouds. The sound of rain is melodic, it soothes my soul. The opposite of this is that internal pain as I feel the pressure dropping. I have come to dread this. Despite this dread, I still have the choice of snatching that positive moment each day and holding onto it like treasure. I choose to keep my treasured moments each day, holding them close to help me ignore my pain.
This last week has been a time that is reminding me of the winter to come. The extra pain my body will endure. As I hold this reminder, something else has been on my mind. When I go to my beloved forums and blog sites, I am frustrated. I read the comments posted about virtually every subject, and, I read that my Peers are continually fighting with their pain. Their comments are sad. Their comments are mad.
I understand, I too get negative. But, in order to come to terms with this syndrome, I must stay in those moments of small gifts. I have lived with this for 16 years. I watch my Peers continue to complain, year after year, and I wonder what would happen if they just stopped fighting this? I believe it is possible they would live better. Yes, the pain and the brain fog, along with exhaustion would remain. We are more than our pain. We are human beings with much to offer others. I do not believe getting your feelings out with a negative statement every day, even to an anonymous site, helps our brain to reframe itself.
Tonight as I wrap myself up in warmth and feel a headache from the neck and shoulders coming on, I pray that my Peers can get through another winter without focusing on the negative.
Lucinda Tart, Fibromyalgia Peer Advocate/Life Skills Advisor