Laughter For Coping with Physical & Emotional Pain
I like to watch something funny to deal with pain because laughing releases endorphins also known as “the feel good hormones.” (I learned the importance of laughing from living with bipolar disorder my whole life.)
Half way through the fourth season of the aforementioned Hulu show, the story took an abrupt, illogical, and depressing turn with one of the main characters being ruined in a span of three episodes. (Mind you: this show is a comedy–not Grey’s Anatomy where you expect a plane crash, hostage crisis, or bomb scare every fourth episode!) The main couple, which I grew to love, was destroyed. I felt angry. Betrayed. Sad. And silly—Why do I care so much about a fictional family? Why? (I don’t want to say what the TV show is to avoid spoiling anything for anyone so click here only if you want to know what show I’m talking about. You’ve been warned.)
There Are Other Meijer Pharmacies
Living with a disability or chronic pain or fatigue or depression sometimes means spending a lot of time in bed. There are times when I’ve watched TV shows I actually hate just to hear the sound of another human’s voice. A couple years ago, the Meijer pharmacy I attended closed down. I was devastated. My family said, “There are other Meijer pharmacies.” I understood that but at that point in my life, I saw my physical therapists and pharmacist more than I saw any of my friends and relatives. I did physical therapy three times a week. My pharmacist was part of my weekly routine. Though we never had any long conversations, he was a staple in my life as a person with five illnesses. I felt silly—I thought, The pharmacists probably won’t even remember me after the pharmacy closes. The one thing that made me feel better is that no one lost their job—Meijer relocated each pharmacist to other Meijer pharmacies. The day the pharmacy closed, I brought one of my cards; I paint watercolors. I thanked everyone for all of their hard work. My pharmacist got teary eyed and said, “We never had anyone like you. All the things you’ve been through. It’s incredible.” I knew he “got” me—he got what it’s like to live with chronic illness. Something some people who’ve known me my whole life don’t grasp (see “you can’t be in pain all the time” in, “#AncientAbledProverbs: 45 Things Not to Say to People With Disabilities“).
How You Can Help Friends Who Are In Pain
The other day, I got an encouraging letter in the mail from a friend. A letter via airmail! A few weeks ago, my niece visited me bringing me basil chips because she knows basil helps me deal with PCOS pain. One of my pet peeves is when able-bodied friends with cars say they’re free to meet up “whenever” but don’t make any efforts to visit knowing my transportation limitations (the world isn’t as disability accessible as many think; sometimes I randomly lose feelings in my arms and legs). If we see each other, it’s because I’m in the city usually due to doctors appointments. Finally, don’t forget to include us in your plans. Invite us (even if you think we can’t make it or do the activity in question). Get creative! A doctor friend of mine, who understands what I’m going through with myasthenia gravis, travels often. J* has hiked Rocky Mountain National Park multiple times. He sent me a book with stunning photographs of the Park. J came over and narrated to me what each image looked like in person. It was as if I was there! For one afternoon, I got to hike Rocky Mountain National Park.
Does illness ever make you feel lonely?
–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno
Also ICYMI, Fashionably ill ® is celebrating its 5th anniversary! So I’ve partnered with Holly Berton of Pink Fortitude to do a giveaway; the prize is a $100 Target gift card. The giveaway runs from Wednesday, August 2nd at 01:00 AM EST through Tuesday, August 8th at 11:45 PM EST.