“Don’t let your struggle become your identity.” -Unknown
In our daily battles with chronic pain, it can be very easy to lose ourselves in the fight, allowing our pain to define who we are. We toss and turn, struggling for control. In the end, it is just easier to give up.
It is like two boxers fighting it out to be top dog (your identity). In one corner you have the older, wearier fighter (You) who is on the verge of collapse. On the opposite side is a younger, fresh up-start (Your Chronic Pain) who can go toe to toe with you and still have the energy to keep up the fight. The two of them have been battling it out in the ring (Your Body) for almost as long as they can remember and it seems like this fight will never end. Round after round, the older boxer goes down, eventually coming to the conclusion that this is a losing fight and tosses the gloves aside, allowing the younger fighter to claim the title of top dog.
Yes, the war against chronic pain is taxing, but it does not have to define us. You will have days when it defeats you, but these are merely setbacks.
In Batman Begins, there is a quote that comes up twice in the film, and I believe that it is very appropriate for all of us.
“It’s not who I am underneath but what I do that defines me.”
Underneath our fragile exterior, our chronic pain viciously attacks us. However, it is how we allow it to affect us that truly affirms who we are.
Today, is your identity You, or is it Your Chronic Pain?
I strongly encourage you to put those boxing gloves back on, charge into that ring, and get back in the fight to show that young up-start you will not except defeat.
You may never control your chronic pain, but it does not have to control you.
Remember that and keep up the fight!