Contributed by: Brooke
Reviewed by: Evelyn Corsini, MSW, January 2012
[Brooke is 41 years old, lives in Colorado and has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, bipolar depression, and anxiety.]
I have been a single mother for 22 years and have been living with chronic pain as well as Bipolar Disorder for several years. I was very independent until the pain become too much over the last few years. I have recently been taken off one of my main medications so the pain has increased in the intensity and frequency over the last few weeks.
Now it is about keeping my spirits up so I can still be a part of society as well my children’s lives. I still have one teenager at home. It is a daily struggle to accept the limitations the pain has created in my life, but I have to keep myself from falling into the pits of depression. Making commitments, even small ones, help me to avoid isolation.
The pain tries to get the best of me every day, however, I find that I rarely give in to it. I have learned to depend on a support group, several mini-walks daily, spiritual guidance/services and volunteering twice a week.
I have really wanted to throw in the towel, but there are others who depend on me… my support group, my church, my dogs, where I volunteer, as well as my children. I thank God daily that I am still here to enjoy those around me.