Blessings from chronic pain? How chronic illness, rehab, & life's plot twists gained me a bff & found me being a bridesmaid at 48!

When we are young, we assume life is going to go in a certain way. Perhaps the specifics aren’t a ‘given’, but we have it in our minds what’s going to happen and are pretty sure about that. At least I was.

But as we all know, life doesn’t go as planned.

If it did, my husband Rob & I would be sharing pics from our 30 year high school reunion on Saturday (okay….I would be the one doing the sharing…but he would be sitting here while I was doing it!)  But we didn’t go to the reunion, because I had something way more special and waaaay more important (sorry Hunterdon Central Class of 1987! We love you guys and will catch you at the 35th!)

What I never factored into my plans was getting sick & being diagnosed with lupus  & fibromyalgia 17 years ago. Nor did I imagine ever getting to the dark place I got to and having to go away to rehab into a chronic pain program 4 years ago.

I definitely did not plan on having to have a roommate who was 20 years younger than me (the horrors!) while I was there or imagine in a million years that this “kid” would become not only one of my best friends, but also the co-admin of the successful gratitude-based chronic pain group I founded on Facebook (Attitude of Gratitude with Chronic Pain). And for her then years later to ask me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding would seem absolutely insane.
But she did.

And I considered it to be one of the biggest honors of my life to stand up there Saturday and watch her marry her prince, James who has loved and cherished her for many years.🤵🏻👰

Jackie & James, thanks for asking me to be a part of your special day. Your love is inspiring and it was an honor to celebrate with both of you. May the road always rise to meet you and may the ‘in health’ days outnumber the ‘in sickness.’

Thank God for life’s plot twists.

I love you, Roomie. 

Lauren has lived with lupus & fibromyalgia for 18 years & is the founder of the FB group, "Attitude of Gratitude with Chronic Pain (AoG.)" Also a recovering alcoholic, Lauren discovered the power of GRATITUDE during her recovery for that as well as in dealing with her chronic illness. In 2016 she embarked on her "Gratitude Project" by writing an essay on one new thing that she was grateful for every day on Facebook for the entire year. It was that project that sparked the website and she's currently writing a book called "Attitude of Gratitude with Chronic Pain" based on how living with the intention of gratitude has changed her life with chronic pain as well as the lives of the thousands of members of AoG. Lauren also sits on the Board of Trustees and is Social Media Coordinator for Chronic Pain Anonymous. #GetYourGratitudeOn