Grateful for the opportunity to share a spouse’s perspective on addiction for an interview. We started Mabry Living to share our truth. It’s comforting to know we made the right decision to let light into the dark spaces of our lives. If you’re secretly struggling with addiction in your home or family, you’re not alone.
Have you ever felt like the struggles you’re going through are so unique that no one would understand you, even if you tried to explain them? And even if you could explain them, you don’t want to because it might make you seem weak, like you’re a complainer and not a fighter. I often feel like this with my chronic pain, but it’s not something I talk about much. Since my car accident, it has been difficult not to let my struggle become my identity, as I did for so long.
When my severed nerve fairs up at night, I get an ingrown hair or a blister forms on my residual limb from my lower leg amputation my first reaction is to ignore and conceal the issue. All that does is cause more problems. So what happens when you actually let people know what’s going on with you? You might be surprised by people’s reactions.
Like many who battle with chronic pain and chronic illnesses, I attempt to minimize it to be seen as “normal.” I don’t want to be perceived as a complainer or lazy so I keep much of my pain to myself. When a particularly painful ingrown hair formed on my amputated limb recently I felt overwhelmed and depressed to the point of not wanting to get out of bed. Instead of keeping it to myself I opened up to Sarah to let her know about it.
Surprisingly, she didn’t roll her eyes in judgement or imply that I was worthless like my mind told me she would. Instead, she exercised compassion and patience and served as a voice of reason. See, I still wanted to ignore the problem and go workout. I mean, how can someone call an amputee who’s working out lazy, right? When the infected ingrown hair was causing me as much pain as it was, working out on it would have been just plain stupid. So not only did Sarah suggest that I not go workout, she encouraged me to take it extra easy that day and to keep my leg off as much as possible so that I didn’t continue to aggravate it. I experienced such mental and emotional relief to be validated and supported for being in pain. The hardest part was admitting to myself and someone else what I was going through at that particular moment.
When you’re dealing with any kind of chronic physical, mental or emotional issue you can’t merely stop fighting. Life is going to happen around you whether you like it or not. What this recent experience reminded me is that sometimes continuing to keep fighting means to surrender and ask for help or to simply let someone know what you’re struggling with. I strive not to let my chronic pain identify me as a victim or a complainer, but many days it’s just too overwhelming. Maybe the good side of it is that it allows me to identify as being a normal human being and, that possibly, I have been sent along this path to help someone else who is hurting. If this is you…KEEP FIGHTING!
Have you ever read something at just the right place and time in your life that was so profound it created in paradigm shift in the way you view your life and the world around you? That is what happened to me the other day when I read this short passage from Sarah Young’s daily devotional, Jesus Calling.
“Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young
I already knowthat life is not fair. We all know that, right? But usually when I think of life not being fair I think of the negative side of that statement – like how unlucky I have been in losing my leg, seeing my friend and my brother die and any number of other tragic events that have happened to me. But what I fully realized in this profound reading is that God is even more unfair than this life.
God is unfair in that He never ceases to offer me His Peace, Love and Understanding if I simply choose to accept it. With all that I have done to lie, cheat and manipulate other people, places and things to get what I want, He still offers me complete Forgiveness. How awesomely unfair is that!
Today I choose to thank my God for the free gifts He unjustly offers to me. Consider detaching from your unfair life circumstances for just a few minutes today and thank your Higher Power for being so selfish and unreasonable.