11 Confessions about Chronic Illness

I saw this today:



And this is my response:

Yes, true. But!!

1. Guilt is a useless emotion

2. Feeling lonely is a good chance to know and love yourself

3. Anxiety and depression are challenges to accept and or tackle

4. Pain sucks — but pain medication is fun

5. Every healthy day is a gift, but you are still one day closer to being dead

6. Be bold and let your free flag fly — where what you like! Shave your head! Keep it fresh!

7. Beds need people too!

8. It’s okay to be afraid, and it’s okay to say no

9. Exercise is just another addiction, might as well eat chocolate

10. Most doctors will kill you if you let them… that’s why we need nurses

11. Feeling useless and being useless are two separate things. You have so much to give and just because we live in a materialistic culture that likes to measure phalluses doesn’t mean that you aren’t giving tons to others. Hug!!


–The Mindful Crutch


Pain Tolerance: Musings on …

As I lay here writing this sentence I am in pain.

Correction.  I can feel pain.  Correction.


It hurts and I want:

a shot of morphine


a big bowl of pasta with meat balls and cheese and a dry white wine

FN_Ina Garten Real Meatballs and Spaghetti.tif

my mother



to sleep

to wake up

to do

to not have to do

to fling myself off a moving train

to be bathed in healing light

to scream bullsh*t! at a doctor

(  X  )   all of the above


What is pain?  Is pain some psychotic demon throwing lit matches at our nerves?

No.  Pain is a signal.

We say it hurts, what do we really mean?

Is it an ache today?  Does it start small, pulsating, and then radiate outwards like a cat’s tail whip in slow motion?  Cold wind and bee stings upon exposed flesh



Pain?  Are you real?

Yes.  I’m a matter of fact.

Pain?  Why do you hate me?

I don’t.  I am merely saying something is wrong.  If you want to dress this up, here’s the number of a shady guy who does that sort of work:


Mr. Suffering, Esq.







Gray clouds, rain, and no.

Do What Needs Doing, Then Let it Go

Hello friends!

It has been a little while since I’ve posted.  I was away for surgery.  It was an opportunity to use mindfulness practice.  Hospitals, medications, and pain are not places and things that naturally co-exist with peace.  Yet, they are full of wealth in terms of learning peace.

According to Eckhart Tolle, sharp and acute pain can be a moment of pure presence.  The shrieks I involuntary made as the doctor stabbed the needle into my knee cap without warning proved this to be true.  Yet, it is often accompanied by the grinding misery of suffering.  Suffering is the story about our pain.  Sometimes we want to have our story validated.  We want to get a hug, a get well card, or a pill.  There is nothing wrong with that.  But, there are points when we need to quiet the suffering and find the true nature around us.

What might you replace it with?  My most recent experience showed me the power of watching and counting my breath.  It is one of the fundamentals of all other forms of meditation.  What else worked for me?  Metta meditation, which I will write a post about in the future.  In brief, Metta is fixing your attention on total strangers and wishing them, “May you be well; May you be happy; May you be filled with loving kindness.”  It is powerful in opening your heart and directing your intention.  The focus is off the “little me” and on to the rest of the world and our connectedness with it.

As I recover at home it is easy to feel overwhelmed.  I am reminding myself to “Do what needs doing, then let go.”  There can be a lot of things to juggle in recovery.  There are follow-up appointments, calls to receptionists, blood tests, filling prescriptions, a whole lot of social media, my kitchen counters, and so forth.

It is easy to lose mindfulness in facing this laundry list of tasks.  My reminder is that it is only necessary to do what is necessary in this present moment (say making one call about an appointment) and afterward I do that, it is graceful to let it go.  To return to rest and inner quiet after doing “the thing” is a central part of mindful practice.  Recovery asks and how we answer can mean an easier and happier experience!




I hope you are well!