When I was first diagnosed with chronic pain way back when there were no terms for this cruel diagnosis that I manage such as: chronic pain warrior, survivor of chronic pain, warrior not a worrier and so forth. My bike accident occurred in my early teens and chronic pain became my world and my enemy for the following fifteen years or so. This “selfie” another new term introduced to me in the past year was taken two days ago at the playground with my high energy two year old daughter. I look nothing like the way I looked when I was in the worst years of my chronic pain and my life. Prior to learning how to manage chronic pain naturally, I weighed about fifty pounds more than I do now, never once exercised, drank like a fish, smoked, and ate terribly. I am very blessed to have been to the Pain Rehab Center and was able to learn how to manage pain naturally. I now eat well, exercise daily, practice yoga and meditation, love the outdoors, no longer smoke, maybe drink twice a year for a special occasion and no longer go to any pain specialists. Often times people say to me: “It is so awful you had such a horrific accident, brain surgery, and chronic pain at such a young age.” I see where they are coming from but I see it in a different way. I am happy I got it out of the way if I had to have brain surgery, chronic pain, and anxiety. I still have chronic pain and anxiety but am still young and know now what to do to manage what can be a killer diagnosis.
Many of my readers were diagnosed with chronic pain in their thirties, forties, and so on. People who were once avid exercisers, worked with their hands, and spend most of their career working in jobs such as landscaping. Imagine being diagnosed with chronic pain when you spent fifteen years working for a moving company that you are no longer able to do because there is no way you can lift three boxes at a time for five hours straight. I have chronic pain and am able to run and practice yoga but if I do too much lifting of any sort if affects my chronic pain to an unbearable degree. Chronic pain can steal you from the jobs and activities you once not only loved but gave you a sense of worth, value, and helped pay the bills. What does one do? I do not have all the answers but I have had to leave a certain job because of chronic pain and my self worth was lost. I was working as a social worker for a company that was very money hungry and kept me on my toes ten hours a day with no lunch break and I was chastised often for not getting enough money out of my patients. I was laid off and now I am quite thrilled about that! However, at the time I felt scared about my future, hopeless even though that job was literally killing me inside and out.
We all have more than one interest and to the readers I have become close with you are much more than the job you used to perform. You have many other interests and are great at other things. You must look outside the box. As hard as it is stop focusing on what you cannot do and start to look at what you can do. You were given this life for a reason and it is your job to find it. You will. I have zero doubt. Until then, know that it is okay to breakdown, it is okay to cry and get pissed off but do not ever give up! Take one day at a time and know that the greatest days of your life have not even happened yet. Keep the faith, do what you can and the Universe will take care of the rest.