Coping with chronic pain (guest blogger)

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A challenge many people have is that they suffer from chronic pain — arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, etc. And they want to know how they can be happy in spite of all that pain. My guest blogger, Irene Roth, is here with some terrific tips about just that, particularly if you suffer from arthritis or have a friend or family member who does. Print out this blog or send them the link to share it. They’ll thank you for it!

to your happiness,


Here’s Irene…

How Can I Be Happy When I’m Always in Pain?

Hello.  I am Irene Roth from I am here on my friend Evelyn’s blog to reflect on how individuals who are
constantly experiencing arthritis pain still be happy.

I have been leading arthritis self-management workshops for over eight years here in Ontario, Canada. One of the sections of the six-week workshop focuses on how to ensure that arthritis sufferers live a balanced and content life, despite the fact that they are constantly in pain with arthritis.

Time and time again, I have participants who complain of having so much pain that it sucks the life and happiness right out of them.

I felt so bad for them that I started a blog devoted just to their issues and needs. So, after I reflected for a while, I decided to write a blog about that.

Given the percentage of elderly in our times, this is a topic that will be very dear to a lot of people’s hearts. The main question is: Can you still be happy when you’re always in pain?  Possibly the real nub of the question hinges of the word ‘always’. If an individual is in pain some of the time, (s)he can cope with the pain on bad days and celebrate the good days. But with arthritis, this isn’t the case for most people.

The nature of arthritis is such that for many sufferers, individuals are in pain all the time. They feel the stress and unhappiness of always being sore, having swollen joints, and not sleeping well. Ultimately, they become so run down and they feel very overwhelmed that they can’t really function well. So, how can such individuals feel any kind of happiness, we wonder?

Well, for me, whether or not I am having a good pain day or not, I have a found a few sure ways to be happy. This has helped me tremendously. During tough days, I find moments that I really enjoy in the day, and I try to find as many as possible. I may go for a short walk, or sit on my beautiful patio and watch a sunset. I may take out my fine china set and have a peaceful cup of tea, or I may try and have something nice and nutritious for dinner.

In other words, I find things that are positive and that make me happy and I shower my pain-filled days with these wonderful experiences. And this indeed does help to keep me happy and content even on difficult days. It is important to have a list of the things that you really enjoy when such a day comes. And when you are having one of those pain filled days, take out the list and do a few things. You will be so glad that you did!

So, get busy and write your list of most wonderful and peace-filled activities for yourself, and enjoy the bad days.

~ Irene S. Roth

PS — Hi again, everyone. For more information and tips on arthritis, please visit Irene’s arthritis blog at:
And don’t forget to leave her a comment or two!

Comments (2)

Evelyn Brooks

August 3, 2010

Thanks for sharing this info with us, Irene! I know it's much appreciated by so many people who cope with chronic pain. :-)

Evelyn Brooks

August 3, 2010

Thanks for sharing this info with us, Irene! I know it's much appreciated by so many people who cope with chronic pain. :-)

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