The hosts of April's A-Z Blog have asked each of the participants to reflect on a month's posting following the alphabet. I had never blogged before accepting my sister-in-law's invitation to "try it for a month." I used this time as a "backward-looking journal" about my last four years of chronic pain. Each day, I wrote about a topic related to chronic pain, and some of the questions, ideas, problems, and challenges I faced. I thought it would be cathartic for me, and it really was.
First, it was surprisingly easy to think about and write down my thoughts for each day. I found myself thinking a great deal, and then just "typing it in." Just a quick proofread, and I was (usually) done. Even though it took a commitment for every day, it was not overwhelming to accomplish.
Second, I'm surprised at how many people followed my blog. I got comments from strangers who are also dealing with chronic pain. I got comments from my friends and loved ones. But, I've also had a number of people tell me that they were following my blog (even though they never commented). My best friend even said "I had no idea that this ordeal had been so life-changing for you. I knew you were in pain, but you've really had to make some huge adjustments." All of your comments to me have encouraged me. Thank you!
Third, I'm so grateful to be on the "up" side of this era. It started in May of 2007, and I kept thinking that I would find something that would "fix" me soon. I had no idea that it would last for four years! I'm not sure that I could have handled knowing that. On the other hand, knowing that I would come out of it eventually... that would also have brought great hope. At one point (last year), I think I was losing my hope, or maybe I had already lost it. Finding hope again (see Y=Yet) was a great turning point. I think I could endure almost anything, if I know for sure that it will end. The not-being-sure part is the hardest...