It’s a Hard Thing to Hear.
When we are first diagnosed, we can feel like we were given a non-death death sentence. CRPS is this thing that we’d almost wished we were diagnosed with something terminal instead. It has been dubbed “the suicide disease” for a reason. And it sucks!
To make it harder, the people around us are thinking and saying, “It could be worse.” And if you are anything like me, you wanted to smack them upside the head.
Well, after six-years I finally believe them.
Here’s what I did, and of course, just because I did it doesn’t mean you have to. It’s morbid, I admit. And I don’t recommend it for the faint of heart.
Here it is: I started watching TV, documentary films and online videos of death and disease.
At first, I thought something must be wrong with me to want to see this stuff, but it made me feel like “it could be worse.” I started to say it to myself throughout the day. “It could be worse” became my mantra and a reminder to live life for the living (In other words, it’s not about me.).
Much of the death and disease out there is hard to watch or hear. And many people will say that it’s worse to put negative imagery and words into our heads. Trust me, I agree that we need to stay positive but with CRPS there’s only so much positivity we can take when faced with such a horrible and torturous condition. Notice the but, it’s very likely that we can also feel that “it could be worse” when we focus on the positive only. So, don’t try this at home unless you feel you can handle it. Personally, I used to watch some cops-n-robbers stuff before I was diagnosed, so the leap to the macabre was not too far.
CRPS pain wears us down over time. It’s so incredibly hard to deal with let alone function effectively in our lives. It’s so hard that we can become depressed and suicidal. There’s SO much that we lose. I had to grieve the life I thought I was going to have, and it has been hard to reinsert myself into life as healthily as I possibly can. I’ve had to redefine myself and find meaning in life with CRPS. No easy task but I’m living proof that it’s possible.
Keep on keepin’ on,
P.S.: Let’s stick together in this. How do you cope and hope with CRPS in your life?