I haven’t yet written about chronic pain and illness on the is blog, or anywhere else really. It’s difficult to put the experience into words. We live in a society in which we are encouraged to measure our self worth by out productivity. We are told to work hard, climb the ladder, be the best, make the money, buy all the things. That’s how capitalism functions. But, what happens when one of us, the proverbial cogs in the machine, breaks down? Or didn’t function “properly” in the first place? What are we when we stop being part of the machine and how do we then see ourselves? How do we understand our own identity and place in this world when we don’t function the way we are told we are supposed to?
Bodies break, minds fracture, pain can be a constant companion that gnaws away at your sanity. Yet, the worst is the story that our minds tel us, the guilt, the shame, the constant self questioning. We live a life we weren’t trained for and we feel it. That little voice telling us that we are a waste of space, that we should try harder, that we are a drain on resources. That little voice that constantly questions whether we really are sick enough or in enough pain to justify our lack of productivity. It is a constant battle for self acceptance, to find self compassion. We are our own worst critic. We put expectations on ourselves we would never dream of putting on somebody else. Our minds are broken.