on 'Butterfly Abstract' (c) copyright 2008 by Shiloh Moore
‘Learn to Choose Your Pain’ and ‘Do What
Gives You Life’
2012 by Shiloh Moore
I’d like to
share with you two phrases I have developed over years of living with Chronic
First is a
phrase I coined when in my teens, for those of us living with chronic illness (but
obviously not totally bedridden): ‘Learn to Choose Your Pain.’
illness, Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, you are always in
pain. You are never pain
free. To keep your spirit
surviving, it helps to prioritise
what you spend your precious energy on.
Learn to Choose Your Pain.
'Learn To Choose Your Pain' Scrabble letters 2012
on 'Black on Abstract' (c) copyright 2008 by Shiloh Moore
thinking about this before I was diagnosed, when I was 14 and struggling to
attend school having been unable to play my flute for months. I came across a strange dilemma: I had a ‘good’ day, when I had a rare glimpse
of precious energy after school one day.
I found myself wondering, should I be a ‘good’ girl and do my homework,
or could I spend this energy playing my beloved flute? Is ‘I had a good day yesterday’ a valid
excuse for not doing my homework yet again?!
more years of illness, I learned to prioritise. I learned that to keep your soul satisfied, sometimes you
have to ‘choose your pain.’ Everything
with this illness hurts, everything you do triggers a payout. So choose what you do to cause the
pain, and here comes my second phrase: ‘Do What Gives You Life.’
it’s worth getting in trouble for not doing homework, to spend that precious
energy playing. Do what gives you
it’s worth having a friend visit even though the house is a mess. If you have to choose between either
seeing the friend or cleaning, do what gives you life.
it’s worth doing some art/seeing a friend/going to a movie or concert/going on
an outing in a wheelchair/seeing nature/insert something fulfilling for you,
even though you know you will have a payout as a consequence. Sometimes it’s these highlights to
life, the things to look forward to and to remember, that keep us going. Of course, pace yourself and don’t do
something if the payout will be too extreme. But if you can, prioritise what you spend your energy on and
choose to be in the inevitable pain for something that is worth it to you. Learn to Choose Your Pain, and Do What
Gives You Life.
person can learn from this too.
Within your busy schedule and list of commitments and responsibilities,
learn to prioritise. Say ‘no’ to
doing too many things that are draining, nurture your soul and Do What Gives