The Stars Are Aligned 11/01/06
Yes, the stars are aligned for me today
Have you ever heard of this happening?
There seems to be that magical day when everything falls into place
Today, is that day for me
When the stars are aligned for me,
I feel energetic
I feel the mind has more clarity
I feel that hopes and dreams can really be seen to fruition
I feel on top of the world
As I treasure this moment,
I know it won’t last forever
So, I try to document, for safekeeping, the enlightened moments in my mind
I allow myself to dream it will last forever
I must be grateful for whatever time is given to me to experience this relief.
Today, I got to feel free
I could unburden my troubles and cast them to the wind
Today, the stars were aligned for me
I could be like you for a short moment.
As I was first learning to accept the diagnosis of two incurable conditions in 2006, this poem was written to express and embrace that magical day which allowed me to feel more normal, happy and to enjoy the sense of detachment from the unpleasant feelings which so often accompany chronic pain. Freedom from pain, even when temporary, can be liberating and emotionally exhilarating. Now, as my conditions progress, I realize that I still have those occasional moments as described above, along with the inevitable challenge both physical and emotional, in confronting the return of symptoms produced by my medical conditions. This is the essence of the emotional rollercoaster which patients must struggle with endlessly. It never seems to get old having to re-accept the spiraling backwards. To go from feeling like there is hope of not being stuck with these conditions to then the realization, again, that they are here to stay and will keep affecting the quality of life, is a bit heartbreaking. However, if I never had these magical days when the stars are aligned, I would be saddened. It is such an amazing feeling to feel hope, even if it is temporary in nature.
We live life, when we are younger, with visions of so many hopes and dreams. No one looks to the future with the dream of becoming disabled or handicapped. I now realize that I lived so many years undiagnosed as my symptoms, relative to today, were minimal. I had no idea that unexplained medical issues I experienced over the years would become more acute, progress, and become permanent. And I laugh when I tell someone that I have had a magical day. These special days are not devoid of pain and discomfort. They simply periods of time when, for one reason or another, my symptoms are manageable. Individuals in good health wouldn’t describe it magical if they climbed into my body. Those suffering from chronic conditions try to learn to accept what we have to and embrace any positive improvement as such a gift!
So, when you, too, have one of those days that you wish you could duplicate, at will try, to take a mental picture of how it felt. Try to use your imagination to bring some of that good feeling back and hopefully sustain you emotionally until another better day returns to fall back on. Let’s try to hold onto the hope that comes with that experience and dream for many more moments like this.
May life be kind to you,
Ellen Lenox Smith
Author of: It Hurts Like Hell!: I Live With Pain– And Have a Good Life, Anyway, and My Life as a Service Dog!
The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report.
Ellen Lenox Smith and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. They are co-directors for medical cannabis advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation, along with Ellen on the board and they both also serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. For more information about medical cannabis visit their website. https://ellenandstuartsmith.squarespace.com/