Why do something if you know it's going to cause you more pain?

This was the question I got asked by a year 8 student while doing the final dress rehearsal for the school production this morning, and for once it actually got me to stop and think. Why am I running around after actors for hours on end being the stage manager and directing them?

It is a pretty simple response, but I was temporarily at a loss for words. The short answer is that no matter what I do in life, it is going to hurt, and I love doing the school production so much! Walking, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, and eating lunch… everything is going to hurt. The real question is, how afraid are you of the pain? Are you willing to fight through the pain to do all the things you are passionate about in life? Or are you going to curl up in a corner and say not today?

I have had cerebral palsy related pain for as long as I can remember, where I could go a while with no pain, but then it being worse in winter or if it was cold. However, for about the past 3 years I have had chronic pain in pretty much every joint and muscle which has never gone away and has progressively got worse as I have got older, so why do I continue to do everything?

I know that pain is something which isn't normally talked about and something which is very normal for me- I also know that it is something which I am not going to let control my life, it would be a lie if I said I could imagine what it was like without pain, for me that would just be strange! As bad as this sounds, pain has become a part of my life. Even in my dreams, I am in pain. However, the pain doesn’t control me. I am the expert of my pain. After all, it is my life and I am going to live it to the fullest. I attend sixth form full-time and am one of the assistant head girl, along with the head ambassador of CP Teens UK, so to put things simply, I am ALWAYS busy doing something- but that's what I love. I love writing lists and being organised, helping with events and generally having something new to do. Over the last few years I have learnt how to pace myself and try my hardest to spread things out so I do have time to recover in between, but sometimes that can be hard to stick to...

Trust me when I say that I pay dearly for acting like the typical young adult. I just don’t see pain as an obstacle that should limit or stop me from living, because for all I know, I will always be in some form of pain. Maybe it won’t always be excruciating pain, but it will be there. A lot of the opportunities which come my way will not be there forever, so grab them with both hands while you still can!

With it the opening night for the school production tomorrow evening (and 4 shows back to back) it certainly isn't going to be an easy week- but it sure will be a good one!

- Chloe x

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