Pain Can Steal A Sense Of Purpose

Everyone who lives with chronic pain or illness knows how much it takes away. I could write a long list. Their health condition can just sneak into their lives like a thief and steal so much away from them. One thing it can often take is a sense of purpose.

Pain can steal a sense of purpose

I am sure that I lost a sense of purpose when I retired from work through ill health. I probably didn’t even realise it at the time.

Having a sense of purpose in life is so important. It can give people the reason to get up in the morning. It can make them feel good about themselves. If you lose it, how can you get it back?

How I Found A Sense of Purpose Again

When I had to take early retirement in 1994, I lost contact with friends from work. I was in too much pain and too tired at that time to try to keep up with them. Not only that, I didn’t feel as though I fitted in any more. That was down to me, not them. It can be a long and difficult transition from having been working to being retired through ill health. I almost became a recluse for a while, which isn’t really healthy, but it was out of my control at that time. My pain dictated my life.

When the internet was born, I joined online support groups for people with chronic pain conditions and I started to develop new friendships with people in similar circumstances. The good thing about the internet is that those friends can be anywhere around the world. People might say, ‘but you’ve never met them – they can’t be real friends.’ But they are. And thanks to different time zones, there’s normally always someone around to chat to, share a moan or have a giggle with.

Online support groups were possibly the best thing ever created on the internet. Very often, patients don’t get everything they need from their doctors. They might get a diagnosis. They might get a prescription. But questions aren’t always answered. Support is often lacking. When a patient finds a good support group, their world can change. They no longer feel so alone. Having someone say the words, “I understand,” can have a huge impact.

It helped me. But I soon found that I was ‘useful’. I was getting support, but I was also able to give support. That made me feel good about myself. I had regained a sense of purpose.

Chronic health condition can take away a sense of purpose

Pain had taken it away from me, but in an odd way, my pain was also responsible for giving me a new sense of purpose.

End Trigeminal Neuralgia

In 2012, along with two other trigeminal neuralgia friends, I started the End Trigeminal Neuralgia awareness page and support group. I am still running it today along with another friend and TN sufferer, Trish (who blogs at Verve), along with the help of some lovely admin. We try to promote awareness about trigeminal neuralgia, ensure that people get helpful, easy to understand and correct information, offer advice and tips and give support to sufferers.

I genuinely care about those people in the group. I often wish I could wave a magic wand to cure their pain, but I know I can’t. But I do what I can, even if it is only to offer them a place to let off steam. Being able to be there for people, to listen, help, support and share any knowledge I have is good for me mentally.

Despite Pain – A New Sense Of Purpose

When I started writing this blog last year, I found another new purpose. Not really new, just extended slightly. I decided to blog about my other pain issues as well as trigeminal neuralgia as I believe awareness is extremely important for all chronic pain sufferers. But I wanted my blog to have a positive feel. I wanted to try to share what helps me cope, in the hope that it might help other people.

I joined a chronic illness blogging group where we all try to support each other. I think we all have a similar goal with our blogs. Every chronic illness blogger I know deserves recognition for what they do.

WEGO Health Awards

There are many awards for travel, fashion and lifestyle bloggers, but very few include chronic illness bloggers. It always good to hear of awards where chronic illness bloggers are recognised too. A company called WEGO Health runs awards every year for patient leaders (patient advocates, health activists, health community leaders, patient influencers and patient experts). WEGO Health tries to connect healthcare industries and research companies with the experience, skills and insights of their Patient Leaders.

I Was Nominated For A WEGO Health Award

Thanks to a friend in the chronic illness blogging group, Sheryl from A Chronic Voice, I have been nominated for a WEGO Health award. This really took me by surprise. I am so grateful to Sheryl and extremely excited about it. Who wouldn’t be?

Please read on to find out how you can help me to win this award.

WEGO Health Award Nomination. Best Kept Secret

Please don’t keep this secret!

My award is for “Best Kept Secret”. Normally I would say that people should never share secrets, but today I am asking my readers to please share mine!

Best kept Secret is described on the WEGO Health website as:
“The internet is a vast place, making it near impossible to find all of the amazing content that exists. We find ourselves continuously turning to our Patient Leader Network to help give us recommendations of the who we should follow! Who do you believe is a hidden gem? A Patient Leader who creates great content and should have the spotlight shone on them? Who deserves double the readership because they are doing great things as an advocate? Help us uncover the best-kept secret of the online health space!”

Please endorse my WEGO Health nomination

Please Endorse My Nomination

Obviously, every nominee would like to win, and I am sure every nominee deserves to win. It is absolutely thrilling to have been nominated, and yes, I would love to win. But I do need your help to do so.

I need people to endorse my nomination.

Please click here to visit my WEGO profile paige, then click “endorse” under my photo.

(Since writing this post, I have been nominated in two other categories. When you click endorse, please choose “best kept secret’. You can also vote for the other categories should you wish.)

Thank you so much. Every click and every share is very much appreciated.

As always, thank you for reading. Please leave a comment below and click the social media share buttons.

36 thoughts on “Pain Can Steal A Sense Of Purpose

  1. I totally agree with just how good the Internet, the blogging world & online support groups can be, that’s where I’ve made real friendships, too. Setting up the awareness page & support group for Trigeminal Neuralgia is a wonderful thing to do, and you should be very proud because it’s people like you who make a difference to the lives of those that are struggling.

    The online world & these sorts of groups help us form our tribe, and that can help in the journey back to finding a sense of purpose. I know I seemed to bereft, like I’d been pushed out to sea with no clue what I was doing and no purpose at all when I lost my job. Blogging has helped fill some of that gap, it’s opened up new options and avenues to explore. I think that whole ‘sense of purpose’ is an incredibly important topic when dealing with chronic illness and pain, so very well done with this post!

    And, of course, a huge congratulations on the Wego nomination! I’ve already endorsed – you are a Best Kept Secret & a true blessing to the chronic illness & chronic pain community, Liz  ♥
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sjd68

    WOW I am in the midst of a star! Congratulations on the WEGO nomination. I have endorsed you and will pass this along. Just the fact that you put yourself out there to help others is commendable. There are many fantastic support groups out there online. It’s always good to know you are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. clydequin93

    You can really find friends on social media or Internet, it only takes some trust and care to find real friends, but I really agree with you.
    Congratulations on your nomination, you really deserve it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on your nomination, Elizabeth! I’ve endorsed you, because you deserve it! I’m very lucky that I not only get to read your blog, but call you a friend as well.

    I don’t deal much with chronic pain, but I do know what it is like to lose my purpose. When my best friend died, I had a family member who had lived with my husband and I for years. That ended, shortly after and I really did become a recluse for close to a year before deciding to join the world again. I had to find my own purpose in life again, since it had always been tied up in taking care of this family member until I cut them out of my life. I had no clue who Erica was, and I had to find myself again. So I can definitely relate to that aspect of what you’ve been through.

    One of the things that I’ve always appreciated about your blog that has helped me is how positive you are about things. I always read your posts and I end up feeling better. Like, life isn’t so bad. Especially when you can deal with so many challenges and still smile. There’s no reason I can’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Erica. I really appreciate your comment and endorsement.
      I am so sorry about your friend and family member. It’s so easy to lose who you are in the midst of things like this happening. I’m glad you found yourself, and I’m glad I found you too.

      Like

  5. Congratulations! Your blog is so uplifting for people who suffer from chronic pain and for those who know and love people who deal with pain. The point you made about internet support groups is so valid. There is great value in a community that understands and relates to your situation. I would love to support your nomination!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lyosha Varezhkina

    Congrats! Nominations and awards are very important. Plus I strongly believe you are doing the right thing with this blog. I so wish it was started earlier so I could be an active part of it when needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Diffusing the Tension Blog

    I’m sorry you went through that. Chronic pain is such a challenge. I’m glad you found some purpose. I hope it continues to inspire you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations on your nomination! Consider yourself endorsed!

    I’m also very sorry you went through this, and although I know chronic pain is awful and ongoing, I’ve glad to read that you’ve found some purpose in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations on your nomination! You totally deserve to win! I totally feel the same – I have met so many wonderful people including you and I consider them friends! I honestly don’t know where I would be without my internet friends. Not to mention my blog- I’m able to express my feelings about my condition and it helps me and others.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. congrats on the nomination! I had no idea this award existed. I to have lost my sense of purpose in life due to my chronic illness I was a full time dental hygienist before getting sick and a NPC competitor. I am also a mom of 3 that can’t work now and struggle to take care of myself let alone my children. I just started blogging to try and reclaim some sense of life and hoping to help others in the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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