You can be sick and happy

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I work with many chronically ill teens.

I make clear to them they can feel sick and happy.

I have yet to experience anything that keeps you aware of the interplay of life’s opposites like chronic illness does.

Working to find that sweet spot between pain and comfort, exhausted and rested.

It’s often hard to tell whether challenging yourself will lead to a triumph or exacerbation.

Balance, balance, balance.

One way to find balance is to create space between you and the experience of, in this case, pain.

The way I frame it in my mind is this…

There is terrible pain in the legs that have come with this body of mine.

But I am not the pain and
I am not in pain.

It’s as if I were standing in a rain storm.

I am not the rain nor
am I in the rain.
 
The rain is around me or on me.

The pain is there and we have a relationship.

Like there are storm clouds passing through the sky.

Like after a storm, when the birds start singing again.

Letting you know it’s safe to come out.

As this pain storms today,
 
I’m listening to my favorite music which always brings me joy.

Balance, balance, balance.
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