Many of you have written your thoughts and comments in response to the posts about the Habits of Happy People and How to be Happy Despite Pain. I wanted to share another reader’s answers. This is from Gina.
I am 33 and have lived with CRPS since I was 18. No matter the drugs, I have an average of 7/10 pain 24 hours a day over an area that is half my body. This includes my face, body, arm and leg all down my right hand side.
I live alone, as my ex used to punish me for being in pain and refused to do anything, including cooking, cleaning, shopping. My parents do not understand and don’t really want to. They want it to be in my head and for me to get over it.
My CRPS has developed to a point where physical contact can be excruciating a lot of the time. Life is not easy and very lonely for me.
BUT I survive because I know trying to be happy, even pretending to be happy helps me. When I can not interact with my nieces and nephews physically, I can read to them, do art with them, take a walk with them and because of this, be happy, instead of frustrated that I can’t play with them. Their laughter and joy in life helps me see the positive, and so be happy.
I KNOW that laughing, joking and smiling helps me to get through the next few minutes of pain. Whether it is a video on YouTube, a joke book/email, tv comedy, etc. Being Happy is a great distraction from thinking about pain and what I can’t do.
Giving up is so easy. I have given up at times in the past. BUT working at being happy has made my life much more rewarding. Making the effort to be happy has meant that I am able to hold down a full time job (with some allowances for bad pain days).
Being happy isn’t easy. But really truly making the effort to try and be happy does work. It really truly does. It won’t happen over night though. It takes time and energy and a lot of stubborn will power.
I also want to say that there can be a fine line between something that’s motivational and something that feels like others just don’t get your situation. I believe Gina is trying to share her motivation with others. So if the support helps, great! This community is ready to help and support you. But, if you feel you can’t yet try to be positive, you don’t need to. Rest, and maybe give it a try tomorrow. Or in a month or a year. When you are ready. This community is also ready to help and support you if you feel you just can’t yet take any “happy” steps.