“Some people think that to be strong is to never feel pain. In reality, the strongest people are the ones who feel it, understand it, and accept it.”
There are all these sayings out there I have grown up hearing such as: “No pain, no gain” or “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and my all time least favorite “Pain is a weakness leaving the body.” Is there some truth to these sayings? Depends on the person I suppose but from experience people who have said these quotes to me did not have chronic pain. The truth is chronic pain sucks! Plain and simple. Somebody wrote me something recently that I had to re-read a couple times to fully understand what she way saying. If you have been reading my blog you know that I made a solid choice to never take medication for chronic pain again and have accepted that chronic pain is part of my life and I no longer feel the need to find a cure. Did these decisions happen overnight? HELL NO! I am thirty two years old. My bike accident happened in my early teens and my chronic pain got bad around the age of seventeen. I have spent more of my life with chronic pain than without it. I am a college graduate with a degree in social work, I am married, and I am a mother of one daughter. Am I an expert in any of those things? Nope. However, I can say without doubt that I am an expert when it comes to chronic pain. I am obviously not an expert of your chronic pain but I am the expert of mine. It controlled my life for more years than I can count. I have spent more time crying over it then anything else that has happened to me. I have spent more money on finding a cure than on my college degree. I declared medical bankruptcy because of chronic pain. Chronic pain caused me to think about ending my life on several occasions. Chronic pain has been the hardest part of my entire life. But, here I am. I no longer take medicine, I no longer see doctors for pain, I am the healthiest I have been in my entire life and look better than ever. Some may read my blog or see me and think that my chronic pain is cured. I would be lying if I said I cured my chronic pain. I would also be lying if I said I do not mind living with chronic pain. The truth is, I have chronic pain and I highly doubt it will ever go away. But I am living, I am functioning, and most of all I am happy. Is it easy? NO Is it worth it? YES
I live my life people without chronic pain would never have to live. When I was on medications I did not have to think about the things I literally have to focus on each day of my life. There are certain things I have to do each day in order to manage my pain well and most of the time forget it is there. I have a routine that I try and follow each day. I wake up, I exercise, I eat healthy, I do at least one meditation, I practice moderation in my daily activities, I have learned to say no to events and things that I know will trigger my pain levels to sore, I practice yoga, I try and get as much sleep as possible, and most of all I use distractions to not think about the pain. Every time I begin to think of pain I find a distraction (my two year old is pretty awesome at finding distractions for me as well.)
If I could go back in time I would have been wearing a helmet the day I fell off my bike. If I could go back in time I would erase that day all together. I would not wish chronic pain on my worst enemy. However, I have chronic pain and I can either let it uplift me and make me a better, stronger person or I can let it destroy me. It may have taken me multiple years (at least ten) to get to the point where I am now but we all can get to this point. I still have a long way to go. I truly believe I will get to a point where I never think about chronic pain. If that means my chronic pain is cured than I guess that will be my cure but I know if/when that does happen it will not be soon. I have more amazing days than bad days and for now that is enough.