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Last year during the month of November, I blogged about awareness of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. It's easy, incredibly easy, to focus on what the pain takes away, the leg that doesn't want to weight bear, the pain of caring for personal needs, the effect it has on those around us. It's easy to let the medical appointments, medications and other treatments take over much of our life. Put that together with school, raising a family or employment and it's a very difficult life.

What I really want to focus on now, however is coping. Learning to build a life, even with the horrible disease. Learning ways to feel better, or at least tollerate feeling bad. This is a hard concept for me. There are times when I think "I don't want to cope, I want this to go away!" But recently, I've been in a position to learn coping skills, mainly for anxiety, but also for depression and pain.

I've learned that it's important to rebuild a life full of things which are good. Coping doesn't just mean staying on track with meds which can only do so much, it means working to achieve goals and finding something, even a little thing, to help make the situation better.

The most important thing about doing this is that even a little change, a little positive step forward can bring a great sense of accomplishment. Even when the pain and anxiety are horrible, knowing that you did something to help yourself takes some of the power away from the pain or whatever it is. Some nights, when I sleep only for two or three hours and only in 15 minute chunks at that, coping is hard. And yet, when I look back in the morning, I can say "well, I tried x, y, and z" and feel better about the situation.

I don't feel this way all of the time, but I am slowly trying to add this attitude to my days. I'm finding new skills and hobbies and joy I didn't feel before.

I hope that sharing this little piece of my journey helps you. Remember that my life is not your life, but there is hope for a brighter future. You won't always feel it, but with time it can creep back into your life.


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Nov. 12th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
I read an interesting thing yesterday on a blog that you might be interested in. This woman creates games and looks at how they can be life changing. She received a concussion, and had a lengthy and difficult recovery process, and during that time she came up with a game as a coping skill.


It was kind of cool take on coping.
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