So this is my first blog entry…wow…kind of a lot of pressure. Since I am hoping that people will come back again to hear what I have to say, I really gave today’s comments a lot of thought. What is the first thing I want to say to all of you? What is the purpose of this site?
First of all, let me explain the crazy title of this blog – Phantom Pain. For those of you lucky enough to not know what this term means, here’s how the medical community defines it:
Phantom limb syndrome: The perception of sensations, usually including pain, in an arm or leg after the limb has been amputated. The brain still gets messages from the nerves that originally carried impulses from the missing limb.
Now for the real definition…phantom pain, for me at least, feels like someone is electrocuting my left foot…which is gone! Get that? You literally feel pain in a limb that is GONE! Insane! You can’t think your way out of it no matter how hard you try to tell your stupid brain that there is NO foot there. Luckily, my doctors have found a medication that dulls my phantom pain to a tolerable level – unless I don’t get enough sleep (which, with my two little ones, happens quite often) than no amount of medication can convince my brain that my foot isn’t on fire.
So what does all of this have to do with my blog? Phantom pain is the epitome of life kicking us when we’re down. Life isn’t going to hold back any punches so you have to be ready to fight back. I know that sounds dramatic, but sometimes it really is a fight to remain optimistic about life. There are days when we all feel completely overwhelmed and disappointed with the struggles of life, but we can’t allow these feelings to consume us. When we get knocked down we have to brush ourselves off and get right back up. Like it or not – we have very little control over much of what life throws our way, but we always have control over how we deal with it. So life takes my leg and then just for fun gives me horrible phantom pain. There is NOTHING I can do about that, but I can do something about my attitude. I could have felt sorry for myself and given up on life – but I didn’t. I could have become bitter and resentful to those that love me – but I didn’t. I could have let the realization that life isn’t fair completely consume me so that I was nothing but an angry, mean person – but I didn’t. At the end of the day, we are still responsible for the people that we become when we are faced with tremendous burdens. We have to take ownership of that.
So…life may have dealt you a crappy hand – I am truly sorry – but it is up to you now to decide how this struggle is going to change you. Is it going to destroy you or make you stronger? There is so much joy in life if you just look for it. You may have to look a little harder these days, but trust me, it is there.