Image courtesy of @jontyson
There’s nothing quite as lonely as 3am. The house is quiet; my family asleep. At times like these it’s easy to feel alone. My pelvis is fire, my back screaming in agony each time I shift my position. But I have my blog, words. I can let my pain travel through my fingertips and onto the page. Whether I post this or not, it will be therapeutic to write.
I thought I’d got a handle on my health the past couple years. Along with treatments from a fabulous hospital, I’ve overhauled my diet, take light exercise where I can, meditate daily. My pain had decreased, mobility improved. Lately though there’s been a sense of slipping backwards while trying desperately to cling on to the good days, not let the bad days take over.
Tonight is the worst I have been for a long time. It hurts to move. It hurts to stay still. It’s been an odd day, much to celebrate. My super agent has sold my book rights to Korea, a brand new territory for me – my twenty-fourth. The Date is in Apple’s top 10 biggest selling books for 2018. I put both things on Facebook and instantly received a direct message. ‘You’re having such a good day! You’re living my dream.’
From the outside looking in, my life does seem perfect, except it isn’t. No-ones is.
My evening has been spent upstairs because we don’t have a downstairs toilet and I can’t face going up and down the stairs.
Worries fill my mind – How can I do my Christmas shopping if I can’t get out? Am I going to have to change my weekend plans as it will be uncomfortable to travel? Will I miss my first author Christmas party with my new publisher on Monday? Gradually these thoughts, as thoughts do, become darker. Sharper. Swelling, along with the panic inside me. Am I going to end up in a wheelchair again?
My mind is in overdrive; anxiety over the future overshadowing my present where, relatively speaking I am okay. I am safe.
I am loved.
I reach for my gratitude journal and this is what eventually calms me. Replacing the negatives with positives and really, I have so much to be grateful for, from the strangers who support me online to the dog who snoozes on my bedroom floor who is always overjoyed to see me when he wakes, regardless of my mood.
My list grows and my pain doesn’t feel quite so all consuming anymore. I know soon I shall be able to sleep.
I have a roof over my head, a warm bed. A family who love me. I know I’m one of the lucky ones.
And tomorrow? Tomorrow things will be different because they alway are. The only thing you can rely on is change and I find this comforting because I am certain that just as things can get worse, eventually they will also get better.
This too, shall pass.
Reblogged this on Misha Herwin and commented:
Writing my morning pages, more on that later, helps me.
I’m sorry you’ve had a bad night, Louise. I hope things get better for you soon and I think your gratitude journal is a brilliant idea x
Thanks Wendy 💕
Sounds very tough, great you’ve got such a positive attitude on it and hope it all comes under control for you again. Take care x
Thanks. It’s up & down as most things are x
I have similar chronic pain issues. Hard at night especially, but thinking of good bookish things and fam8ly does help.
Yes stories are such an escape. I’m lucky to have them – and the family Sending hugs to you x
Let’s hope the next change will be a good one. Write to us so we can take some of the burdens off you. Thanks for sharing. Be well.
Aww that’s lovely Darnell. Thanks.
Hi Louise, such an honest, true account of chronic pain and as a fellow sufferer you have all my empathy. As difficult as it must feel at times, think of people like me cooried in, reading your wonderful books to escape from the misery we are suffering. It doesn’t help your pain but you should be very proud. Just remember, your family would prefer you to be comfortable, rather than broken and in more pain after a painful attempt to buy Xmas presents (tat😂). Enjoy your success and your loved ones and that beaut of a dog. Take care. Lindaxxx
Oh Linda! Your response has made me so emotional and really made me think. Even though I’m such an avid reader and use books as a complete escapism I never actually thought of someome doing the same with my stories. You’ve really brightened up my day. Thank you xx
I’m sorry that you’ve had such a bad night – I can really empathise. I suffer with chronic pain too and it can become all-consuming at times. I hope it eases soon but in the meantime be easy on yourself. Sending big hugs xx
Aww hugs back to you Hayley xx
Oh, bless you, Louise. I can’t begin to imagine what your pain is like. You are so brave and thank heavens you have your fabulous writing as an outlet. I hope it will alleviate with mindfulness, and whatever other handles you have for coping. Sending you a big hug and many congratulations for what you manage to produce through your pain. xxx Thinking positive thoughts for you for the rest of this day. Concentrating on you. xxx
Thanks so much Angela. Yes, I’m so lucky to be able to lose myself in stories. Drafted a new chapter for a new book today so a good day really xx
Hey, do you think that the downward spiral might be due to the weather? I tend to hit a downwards trend this time of the year and I don’t think the cold help my joints etc. Even though its neuropathic and not real pain the weather seems to really effect it! X
I think cold does hurt my joints but don’t think it’s that (yet). Hopefully a blip.
Well, congrats on the great news and I hope the pain eases soon.
I’m so very sorry to hear you’re in pain and hope you’re feeling a little more comfortable today. xx
Thanks Angela. Yes I am x
I’m so glad you decided to post this after all. I am sorry that you are in such pain. I understand chronic pain and know those lonely (painful) nights when the rest of the family is asleep. The diet, exercise, rest, meditation are imperative; but there are times when you get tired of managing and need to simply wait out the pain, reminding yourself it will pass as it has before. Your words, “not let the bad days take over,” are an encouragement. It’s good to be reminded of truth. To replace negative thoughts with positive ones, and your gratitude journal sounds like a wonderful way to do that. Take care of yourself and thank you again for posting this.
Congratulations on your book rights being sold to Korea!
Thanks Brenda. So sorry you too are familiar with chronic pain. We should start an insomniacs club!
Great idea! 🙂
Well, I was thinking of asking if you were free for lunch next week, but I guess not!
Seriously, I won’t even pretend to know what chronic pain is like, Louise. I have had some up-close and personal experience of severe and persistent pain with my partner, but watching it and hearing explanations doesn’t translate into understanding it. Even so, when I try to imagine it, I can only feel admiration for anyone who goes through it. I really don’t know how I’d cope.
Hope things have improved already, and you can make it to the Christmas party on Monday. As for the shopping… It can wait. In spite of the hard-core advertising campaign going on at the moment, Christmas isn’t about presents, or even the dinner.
Very true – Christmas is about family for me (and chocolate although that can be delivered online!) let’s set a lunch date for January x
It’s about fried eggs and mashed potato to me, but that’s a longer story than you need right here…
I’ll DM you about lunch
Reblogged this on IdeasBecomeWords and commented:
A great post here,
by Louise Jensen at
It is a great reminder
that there is often a
reality behind the social
media posts bearing all
the exciting news.
This author is going
places; I have no doubt.
I had read all four of her
and they are up there
with the best.
This post Louise wrote
at 3am is full of honesty
I’m proud to have met her.
Yes! Middle of the night can be excruciatingly lonely. I often wonder what did “spoonies” do to survive before IPads, phones, etc. Can you imagine how much quieter that would be?
Hard to imagine!