Friday, 20 May 2016

What Would You Do If You Were No Longer in Pain?

I often wonder what it would be like to not be in pain. Every day is exhausting. Every day different. Every day a question mark. I don't know if I'll wake up and be in agony and have to cancel plans. I don't know what kind of mood I'll be in. I can't guarantee that I've had a decent nights sleep and have the energy to get dressed. It's not reliable, I'm not reliable, and it's because my health controls my life.

If I wasn't in pain my life would be different; I've accepted that. And although I'm very happy with what I've accomplished, where I am now, grateful for the people I'm surrounded by, there's a strange sense of grief of what I could have been.

Would I have been a teacher, like I'd wanted when I was younger? Would I have gone to university when my friends did at 18? Would I be married? Have children? Live abroad? Would I go on roller-coasters, sky dived, bungee jumped? 

I know a lot of disabled people live active, adrenaline-fuelled lives but when you dislocate as easily as I do, a lot of fun (or what I consider fun; sky diving, guys, I'd love to) activities are simple no-goes. My doctor wouldn't sign off on any of this; I'd end up more broken than I already am.

If I was healthy, if I wasn't in pain every single day, I think I'd be a completely different person. I'd live a completely different life. This isn't a 'woe is me' post, it's a natural thing for someone to feel this way and I want to articulate it because it's okay to grieve. It's okay to mourn a life that you could have had. 

Who knows where I'd have been or what I'd have been doing if I didn't have a long list of chronic conditions; I'm sure I'll always occasionally fantasise about it but I'll never dwell on it as it's something that simply can't be altered. I guess I just want to tell my fellow chronic illness warriors; don't feel guilty for thinking about your 'could have been.'


  1. I'd go back to hiking every weekend with my dog. I loved it. We'd pick a random trail somewhere and head off. I really miss it.

  2. For some reason Blogger keeps deleting my comments :(

    Like the girl above - I'd be able to go on long walks with my dog and partner too, lots of stuff like visiting new places and travelling more. Also, I'd probably have trained to do something as a career that I wanted to years ago - like be a paramedic
    I literally today said I'm always thinking of what could have been and how my life is a total different place to what I picture it should be. You're right, we just need to not dwell on the stuff that we wish was different. life would be different, but you never know, some of the great stuff that has happened in our lives may also not have happened if we were healthy. I believe in the butterfly effect!

    we're all in this together :) Jamie xox

    1. We certainly are, and we're awesome as we are! x

  3. Wooow i love this kind of posts and I really enjoy reading them. Wise words there! Thanks for sharing!x

    Vildana from Living Like V & Stalia Is BAE

  4. I think it's important to let ourselves feel negative emotions like grief. If we try to push them away, they'll eat us up. If we let ourselves feel them, we can move through them and feel the positives more easily.

  5. This is so true for me. I always wonder what I could have been. I was about to study nursing when my accident happened and I became chronically ill. I could have been a fully qualified nurse, Paramedic or Midwife by now. I could have been living life to the full instead of just taking each day as it comes. Pain & disability limits my life so much. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who grieves for the life I could have had
    Kate x

  6. Sometimes I play the "what if" game too. But I don't let it go on too long or I will go crazy! I mostly wonder how my life leading to my chronic illnesses would have been if, say, I would have chosen a different career. But the end result is always the same, I still would be sick. Anyway I think about that more often than if I had not been sick.

  7. Wow. What a powerful question. Where do I even begin haha! I would love to go for a run (or walk even gosh), go out to eat with my family, be intimate with my husband, work, drive a car again! I am so lucky to have the things I have but I deeply miss basic things like walking normally, driving, running errands etc. genevieve


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