I will be at Texas Furry Fiesta on March 30th 2019 at 4:30 in the Bryan-Beeman Room. I will be giving my Stuffed Therapy panel. I look forward to meeting everyone there!
Pain is an incredible teacher. We learn so much from pain. We learn not to touch a hot pot when we burn our hand when we are young. When we skin our knees while skating, we learn the need for knee pads. We learn to be careful and cautious with other people when our heart is shattered by broken promises. But what do people with chronic pain learn, people who spend each day living and breathing pain of some sort? What about those with mental health issues who have the mental pain and anguish that plagues them day in and day out? This has been a struggle of mine to comprehend for the past several years. While I do not have an affirmative answer, I believe I at least have a few insights from my own personal experience and those around me.
I see those with a chronic illness and I see how their lives either are changed or how they stand out of the crowd. I see them to be the first ones to help those who have fallen physically or mentally. They are the first ones to offer a surgical mask they have in their purse to someone so they don’t get sick. They are the first to offer up a seat on a bus to someone who is struggling. They seem to be constantly aware of those around them who need help and are the first in line to offer it. Having been that person and spoken to others, this common theme arises. We understand that we have been in that situation and no one helped us. Instead of perpetuating the problem by ignoring it, we try our best to stand and make a difference. Some of the most kind and caring people are those who suffer the most.
It astounds me that more people do not do this. I struggle with not being able to help more people. I speak personally, but it is hard for me not to want to hold the door open for someone. I realize that not everyone thinks the same way I do. However, I see chronic illness sufferers be hyper sensitive about their surroundings. I believe it is part of our survival techniques in a way to keep going.
We can see this theme in metal health as well. We can look at suicides and celebrities and often Robin Williams will come up and there is still a feeling of shock. This man who suffered from some of the worse depression worked so hard to make other people feel better and to help them laugh. There are countless stories of him going above and beyond with the troops stationed around the world to bring them joy in the darkest places. Why is it that people who are suffering the most seem to be the happiest? How and why do they make others believe it so much?
From the research I have done, and from personal experience, people who suffer are trying to bring normalcy and happiness in others to improve their own environment. Sometimes when I am having a hard day, I start doing smaller acts of kindness to improve the everyday people in my life. I find myself and others giving more and more in an effort to show others how the world can be better. More often then not it falls on deaf ears, but we attempt to instill the change on the world we wish to see. We try and reap the rewards of doing a good deed and showing, mostly to ourselves, that the world is a good place.
While sometimes it is rewarding, it is always draining. Here lies a trap that I would caution those who do this. Energy can be taken or given. It cannot be destroyed, only changed (according to the first law of thermodynamics and Einstein). By giving our mental energy to others in an effort to improve our own moods, we losing what little we have left to sustain ourselves. We take our time to inject positivity in the world to show others that it can be a better place and show that people need help. We need to realize that we are using up what energy, mental and physical, that we have. We burn out faster and that leads to a terrible end result. This pitfall is one that can be avoided. A lesson that we need to take care of yourself before helping others.
I have learned this lesson in many hard ways. The pain that has come in my own life has been indescribable, both mentally and physically. I have learned and relearned this lesson many times. By fighting for those around me, I am not maintaining what my own body needs. After so much pain, I feel that I can use this lesson to help others. I know this can be seen as ironic as I am doing the same action I am advising against. While that can be true, I believe I am in a better place to share this lesson. Learn from my own and many other’s mistakes, do not force a change in other people in an attempt to improve your surroundings. You need to save some energy for yourself, taking time for yourself to heal and improve is needed.
Start with taking care of yourself and let that change and joy make the difference in the world.
#hugaplushie my friends