Being ‘Mindful’ is something I have had to learn so much about. I would never guess that a word like ‘Mindful’ could relate to so many things in my life. One thing I do not like doing is taking medicine, however, one thing I do not like doing is being in pain. While I am in pain my behavior becomes short, and the other people around me sometimes have a hard time ‘handling’ my attitude. One of the biggest aspects and fails in life have been caring what others think of me. While I have worked on that factor, pain has introduced what I like to refer to as the “Mindfulness Category.”

The “Mindfulness Category” in my terms is taking care of yourself so that you may be able to positively interact with the others around you. When I am in pain, I feel defeated, I do not want to do anything and my strength on a scale of 1-10 is definitely a 1. However, when not in pain, I am all sorts of happy, motivated, and ready to concur the world. However, being married, I have to keep my wife in mind at all times.

Recently, I have created a board at home allowing the creation of “Chores.” You can define this board kind of like a honey-to-do list. The difference about this board is that I choose what I want to do that day. I might take a few cards down, and later during the day I might have to put some back on the board. However, it still gives me goals and some motivation to complete tasks. Sitting for my condition is bad. Since I have started my chronic pain I have gained 40 pounds. While I am tall enough, I do not look obese. However, I also incurred DVT (deep vein thrombosis) after my second knee surgery. My leg had been swollen up and red/hot to the touch, and my foot ice cold. So my necessity to keep moving is crucial.

Unfortunately, my back pain is so immense that it limits mobility on every level. One of the biggest things is that while I am dealing with my chronic pain, my wife has her own struggles, and I can’t always be the center of attention. Being mindful to me is participating and showing effort to try. Not only that, keeping her in the loop. On my board I have a sheet that I found one day on the web. Gives you check marks to put by what you are feeling that day. Every morning when I get started, I fill out my check list and grab my cards for the day. When my wife sees that, she can see how I am feeling and start to understand better my limitations for the day.

We all have to change, however, for some, change comes in a painful and quicker way that we imagined. I am 26 years old. Never in a million years would I have believed at 26 I would be permanently handicapped because of my chronic pain. Needless to say, here I am, and here I stay. Optimism and motivation keep me going, and so does the love and understanding from my wife. They way that is going to continue… is me being mindful.

Take care of yourself, take care of your spouse and be mindful of your relationships with others.

With Love,

Evan Benson


Credit to:  http://www.survivingchronicpain.com — you can find the chart featured at

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