Every fibromite’s survival arsenal contains two important things: a good laugh and a handy distraction. When we are in pain, whether actually or because our central nervous system has gone berserk, it’s good to get your mind off things. If we focus on the pain, fatigue, or catastrophize our suffering, we won't be taking steps towards healing.
If we try to laugh at least once a day that can help us get through the rough patches. As the old adage goes, laughter is the best medicine. I highly recommend watching or listening to: Micheal McIntyre, Russell Howard, Miranda Hart, Tony Baker, Neel Kolhatkar, Heather Land, or Chris Flemming. They always make me laugh!
How creativity helps me manage my chronic pain
Entertainment as a distraction for chronic illness symptoms
Thank god for the 21st century where there are many, many options for distraction: streaming services, music channels, podcasts, audiobooks, ebooks, and social media. There are magazines and print books too. I personally enjoy reading hard copies, I’m old fashioned that way (even if they stack up around the place).
Two decades ago, fibromites would have had a limited selection in entertainment. To those who have been suffering that long or longer, my hat goes off to you. I don’t know what I’d do without British and Commonwealth mysteries on Acorn tv and Britbox; Youtube (where I get my music from); and social media (I love categorising stuff on Pinterest, using twitter, and checking out Facebook).
Enjoying and sharing the creativity of others helps provide a distraction for the pain I'm in, especially when I'm in too much pain to go out to do things.
Finding a chronic illness community
There are blogs, forums, and websites committed to chronic illness (like this one!), where patients can come together and give support or advice. Doctors specialising in chronic conditions can now offer patients near and far medical information on their websites and social media. They can utilise podcasts and youtube to make lectures on the medical aspect of conditions, which can be reassuring to patients and caregivers alike.
You can spend hours and hours researching the work of doctors from both the conventional and alternative field of medicine and better understand your condition. You can use this information to help you manage your condition and inform people, from employer to friends and unbelieving relatives. It’s scary not understanding something you’re going through. It’s even scarier to go through a condition on your own...
Between online forums and social media, people feel less isolated. They feel believed because they read what other patients are going through. Even if family, friends, co-workers, bosses, doctors, and total strangers don’t believe you because you don’t have a missing limb or other visible sign of illness – there’s an online community where you belong. This is what some medical experts also suggest, to find groups specifically to what ails you, whether online or in real life.
Communicating is another form of creativity. Whether that be talking to someone else face to face, emailing, texting, or chatting on social media. Sometimes it takes someone outside of you to tell you you’re doing better than you think you are. Gossip also keeps the pain and fatigue away, if only for a little while. Being an introvert, however, I’m more inclined to text, email or message.
Creativity and Chronic Pain
I’m a history graduate and writer by trade. I do freelance gigs and work on fiction and I can say that writing does help me feel a little better. Especially freelance work. I’m thinking about getting a blog and/or a website up as well, it’s just simply figuring out what topic. I have a list as long as my arm. Not to mention, it’s very competitive out there. When I do get something up and running, I know I’ll enjoy the distraction of having it.
This is a guest post from Ivi J. Ivi J. is a Virgo, writer, cat mom, tea drinking British mystery and Orlando Bloom fan. Twitter: @ivi_j90 Pinterest: I.J.