Who Am I?

Who am I?

A concept I’ve been pondering a bit lately. When chronic pain and/or chronic illness comes into our lives and our bodies, our world is turned upside down, and who we were before, is not who we are today. There are so many things that we want to be, or that we were, that we can no longer be, or cannot at this time in our lives anyway. Jobs, careers, families, friends, hobbies, feelings, thoughts, abilities, all are changed in the blink of an eye. So I wanted to explore in this particular blog entry: After seven years of chronic pain and chronic illness in my life, who am I?

I wanted to explore this because sometimes my crazy magnifying pain brain will tell me things that are hurtful and untrue- things like “I don’t matter”, or “My life is pointless”, or even “it wouldn’t even matter if I wasn’t here anymore”, on especially dark days. Since I can’t DO the things that I want to, or the things society expects of us, thoughts like this pop up sometimes. So this blog entry is dedicated to those thoughts, to remind them that I do matter, I do have a purpose, I’m alive for a reason, and I contribute to life and those around me in good ways, even if they aren’t the ways I wish I could, or used to be able to.

I am a warrior. I am fighting for my life, for my health, for joy, for peace of mind, and sometimes just hanging on to make it through the day. Me and other’s in chronic pain and/or chronic illness are fighting a bigger battle daily, then many without will in a lifetime. We are warriors, and we are fucking awesome.

I am a friend. Yes I cannot always be the friend i want to be if i weren’t sick, but I am still a good person with good stuff to offer as a friend. When I can, how I can. And I can learn to take care of myself in friendships, and ask for what I need, and say “I can’t I’m sorry” when I need to rest and take care of myself. And those who matter won’t mind, and those who mind won’t matter and will fall by the wayside, and that’s ok, because another who understands and needs me like I need them will take their place if I am open to it.

I am a girlfriend/partner, and a GOOD ONE! No matter what my mind tells me, I know I am a good woman, a good even GREAT partner/girlfriend. Yes there are challenges and obstacles, and things I cannot do at this time, but I love him with everything I am, in every way I can. Able bodied does not equal good girlfriend/partner, just like disabled/sick does not equal bad girlfriend/partner. I have a lot of love and good to give. He’s lucky to have me 🙂

I am a sponsor. I am in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I sponsor woman and support woman. My methods may be different or need certain accommodations, but I am a kick ass sponsor and support of women in my 12 step program none the less. And as I learn and accept more of what I am unable to currently do, I can focus on finding ways to do it, just do it a little differently.

I am a sponsee! (Meaning I have a sponsor in AA) Again, our relationship may look different than other sponsor/sponsee relationships in 12 step programs, but we have found what works for both of us. Slowly but surely. We both help keep each other sober, and we both learn from each other, just like I do with the women I sponsor or support.

I am a daughter. I love my moms and dad. My relationship with my parents has definitely changed over the years, when i got sober, and then again and again when I got sick and sicker. But I am an ok daughter. LoL. I am learning how to be an okay daughter, and to not beat myself up when I don’t “measure up” for one reason or another. My parents did and do their best, and they do love me, and they try to understand me and my illness, and for that I am grateful and blessed.

I am an animal lover. I had two babies, for 10 and 16 years each, that both died this past year. It truly has been the hardest year of my life without them. Since when you are sick and home alone so much, they were my children and my best friends. God I miss them so much. I love them even more. Forever. And I know one day again, when it’s time, God will put a new fur child in my home for me to parent, love and friend. ❤

I stand for social justice in any and every form, in any and every way I can. There is so much social injustice in this world, and I will fight for equality for all until the day I leave this world. Some might call me an “activist”. Many have.

I am a daughter of a King, a child of the Living Lord, God’s daughter. He made me, He loves me, He hears me, He helps me, and He wants me to live the best life I can, even in this jacked up body, while I am here on earth.

Well, that’s as far as my pain brain will take me. I tried to think of anything else in the “who am I?” category, but it only made my head hurt more 😛 So that’s it for now. I give myself permission to add to this later, or not 🙂

Now I would love to hear from you guys/gals! I think as people with chronic pain/illness we all struggle with identity and feelings of worthlessness at times, so maybe take a moment and post some “I am __________” in the comments below! Love and soft hugs,

Jessie D. DDA

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