I was always a rebel in my younger days. My friends in middle school and high school called me the guinea pig because I would never turn down a dare and if someone said I would not be able to do something I was the first to do it. This was not always a great thing and most likely could be the reason I had my bike accident. The details of the day I fell off my bike are very blurry and I was quite young but I knew I should have been wearing a bike helmet and decided not to, just because.
Months after my bike accident which resulted in my brain surgery I started a new school. The new girl in the Seventh grade with the shaved head. It is no wonder I ate lunch alone in the bathroom every day just to stay away from anyone who would make fun of me or stare at my head and face for too long. However, once Eighth grade arrived I no longer look wounded on the outside even if I was wounded on the inside. I started to make friends and was no longer an outcast. I became a daredevil. I wanted to fit in and be cool no matter what it took. Rational? No. Understandable? Yes. I had an amazing group of friends throughout the next few years, two of which remain my best friends. While sitting around one day in my room filled with posters of Nirvana and random movies, my friends I and decided that I should be the first in our group to try alcohol. I remember saying: “I bet ya I can steal some of my dads alcohol from the liquor cabinet and you all can see me drunk!” I had never been drunk before but as soon as they all said: “Yea right Jess! There is no way you are going to do that, I knew it had to be done.” I went downstairs grabbed Jack Daniels and Dry Vermouth (what a mix) and started pounding shots in front of my friends. At the beginning it was hilarious until I peed in my pants and starting crying in bed screaming to my friends: “What is wrong with me???” Looking back it is hilarious but at the time I was honestly scared. However, throughout the next few years I still made a million mistakes because someone told me I wouldn’t do it. Including dying my hair jet black, getting my nose pierced, and if we were playing truth or dare you bet your ass I was the girl who said: DARE! BRING IT! I was the fun, crazy girl who still got great grades despite living with chronic pain. I am not sure that the quote: “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do” has anything to do with what I just wrote about. However, the daredevil in me has also been the part of me to save my life.
People truly did not think that I should stop looking for a cure for my chronic pain. People honestly never thought I should get off of my medication including pain medicine. The most important person in my life never believed I could live with chronic pain without medicine. That person was me. Yes, doctors usually wanted me to be on medication and I am sure many of my loved ones thought the doctors were correct but as I have written I wasn’t really living. The pain was still there, I was not accomplishing much, and most of all I hated myself. I told myself over and over again: “Jessica, you will not be able to function and be happy without pain medicine. Who the hell is going to be with you once they realize how bad your pain truly is. You can’t do it.” Well thank God there are two sides of Jessica. The daredevil in me said to the Jessica frozen in fear: “You are telling yourself you can’t do this?!? I guess you are going to have to then.” And so I did. I proved everyone wrong which is pretty awesome but the best part is, I proved myself wrong. At the end of the day I can go to sleep happy with myself and knowing that if I can live with chronic pain every day of my life without treatment or medication, I can do anything. The greatest pleasure in life is not doing what people say you cannot do: it is doing what you once thought you would never be able to do.