This second part is about steps I’m taking to embrace this life that I’ve been blessed with. You can read the first part here.

Now that you know a little bit about my history with chronic pain, I want to move on to the real reason I’m writing, which is how I plan on coping with the pain, moving on, and embracing life.  2011 has already brought a lot of changes and challenges for me which I’ve been so excited to share with you here.  I bought my awesome new domain, revamped my blog, opened up the Etsy shop, and was contracted to teach classes.  This has all been part of me stretching out and beginning to embrace my life with chronic pain.

I’m tired of this pain dominating my life and affecting my decisions.  My 30 things before 30 is another way I’m grabbing life by the horns and holding on.  Although my list might not include adrenaline fueled endeavors such as sky diving or bungee jumping that a lot of people would expect to see on a list like this, I am extremely excited about my list and the things I have chosen to put on it.  Even if I was a person who lived without chronic pain I wouldn’t choose to do those things anyways (not a fan of heights) but I also don’t think they are wise choices for my body. 
What’s important about my list is that I made it, and care about the things that are on it.  I’m not trying to live up to anyone else’s expectations of what I should accomplish or experience.  This experience is ultimately for myself.  I hope others will be joining me on the journey, but they will be extra added bonuses to an already great experience.  Over the next 10 months I will be sharing with you the outcome of each event.  I don’t expect everything to go smoothly, as I do have physical considerations when making plans for things like traveling and slightly more vigorous activities such as hiking in the Metro Parks.  So I’ll be sharing the failures with you as well.

These 30 (29 still looking for one more) things aren’t the only ways I’m embracing life this year.  Over the last 12 months I have had an amazing opportunity afforded to me through the wonders of a little website called Twitter, perhaps you have heard of it.  I have had the pleasure of meeting some fabulous people both on and off line.  Twitter has given me an endless source of entertainment, support and love during the rough times, people to celebrate with during the good times, and always a happy hour buddy or two.  (As I’m writing this I’m actually getting teary-eyed thinking about all the wonderful people I am getting to know everyday.)

One thing I discovered after being forced, kicking and screaming, into adulthood is that friendships aren’t as easy to form as they were in earlier years.  People have commitments, families, and jobs which leaves little time for the kind of relationship building that I find necessary to form lasting relationships.  This became even more difficult when I was exiled to the realm of my bedroom exhausted and in pain.  And I NEED people to get by.  Without at least minimal contact with others beside my husband I get depressed, grumpy, stir crazy, and fairly emotional.
For awhile I formed relationships with my favorite tv characters, which pulled me out of the horrible depression I fell into after my diagnosis.  I make no apologies for this, for several months, probably longer than a year I immersed myself in the worlds of vampire slayers, Air Force Majors, 180 year old scientists, space cowboys, and a little town called Eureka.  And this did its job, it helped me deal with the passing lonely days in my apartment when I couldn’t even make my own meals.  And I honestly think it saved my life (getting a little teary again.)
I was never a big TV watcher before, but getting involved in these shows introduced me to a little thing called fandom, which in turn introduced me to some AMAZING people.  Now instead of laying in bed being utterly lonely and staring into the beautiful blue eyes of Amanda Tapping, I can now hop on Twitter and SQUEEEE with all my other fan girls(and guys).  It’s really quite thrilling.  And I still totally watch my shows over and over again, but now it’s not so much to escape from real life like it once was, and way more about being entertained by my favorite people.  My desperate act of distracting myself from the pain and horribleness has turned into a really really beautiful thing.  Not everyone might understand this, but I know some of you who are reading this completely get it.

You can read part 3 of this series here.