I just finished a blog entry on ADHD and persistence in developing Executive Functioning Skills, I realized how important persistence also is in chronic pain or illness. The persistence I am talking about is the everyday persistence for you to live a life despite the struggle. It takes persistence to demand a decent quality of life despite the limitations you encounter from your body and mind.
Persistence is required to find satisfaction in living in defiance of whatever difficulty or even catastrophe that has entered your life and tried to limit your living. It is hard to find the energy to maintain that persistence. Your energy can be drained just by managing the simplest things but you must hold back some of that energy to persist in living as good a quality life as you can manage.
It is essential to make clear delineations between day and night. This sounds obvious but sometimes our hole is so deep we no longer to recognize the transitions of the day. That can be just the beginning of your new life..
Persistence means seeking gratitude wherever you can find it. Finding humor and the ridiculousness of your situation. Persistence means finding and reminding yourself of what you are learning during this process. How is this experience making you a better person? I know a part of you wants to say “screw better person, I want the suffering to stop.” I know that place and it may seem easy to me, since I have had the opportunity to live past this place, to tell you to find the growth or the good. But finding gratitude, humor or the good from within helps stave off the bitterness that can be debilitating.
When I realized one day after years of terrible chronic pain that very little scared me anymore. I had lived a life of avoidance of many things just to stay in my perception of safe. To a great extent I am now liberated. I don’t live in fear of the future or the past. I believe there is virtually nothing I can’t handle now. I know how to ask for help from others when I need help. I am learning to develop relationships with reciprocity so I no longer feel indebted; now I can be appreciative. Each new challenge is an opportunity, not a dead end.
This is from persistence, sticking to it long enough to see what works, what doesn’t work and to realize what you have learned in the process. Now many people with chronic pain or illness will never find full relief. I realize that, I haven’t.
In ADHD land we talk about “not better, different” in how others do things compared to how we do things. There may or may not be “better” out there for you, but without persistence you will never know. There may or may not be different out there for you, without persistence, you will never know.
The same old same old obviously isn’t good enough, so let go of fear Hope can be painful, I realize that, so go for “different” through persistence, persistence of demanding a quality life, of using what energy you have.
A lot of things may have been taken away from you, but don’t let persistence be one of them.