“Battling a demon no one can see. Traveling on a journey no one can understand.”
Invisible Illness Awareness Week ends today, but only for the people who do not have an invisible illness. When I first started having chronic pain symptoms following my bike accident, the term chronic pain did not truly exist. I saw hundreds of doctors (no joke or exaggeration) and not one of them ever mention the term chronic pain or invisible illness. I could not go online to find support or even one person who was living in the hell I was living. I had no one and there was no support or in my opinion awareness. It has been about twenty years since I had brain surgery and there is a lot of awareness regarding most illnesses that are invisible. Therefor, it is difficult for me to ever bitch that chronic pain is not getting noticed and recognized. Is it understood by others? No way. This is an impossibility but are more and more people receptive to the term: chronic pain? Absolutely. So the week of Invisible Illness Awareness comes to a close today but there is something that will continue every hour, every day, and ever year: chronic pain. I do not feel the need to spread awareness regarding the invisible illness as people seem to be writing and talking about it more than ever. However, I would like more awareness to be spread about how to manage chronic pain and find happiness and joy despite the diagnosis. We can endlessly complain about our condition but that becomes quite exhausting and clearly not helpful to any of us. With that said, we all need to vent at times about chronic pain because it truly does suck and venting is a helpful tool for any circumstance in life. The more we talk about the pain, the more we will focus on the pain. We need to spread awareness of hope. Chronic pain exists, we know that and most of my readers are living it. Let us turn gears and start talking about what can help and how one with chronic pain does not have to search for a cure their entire life. The exact reason I began this blog was not to spread awareness of chronic pain but to share my journey with chronic pain and how I learned how I could manage pain without doctors or medications.
Invisible Illness Awareness week may be over but the awareness I plan to spread to those with chronic pain and those who love someone with chronic pain will last every week of every year. No one is alone in this journey even though you may feel trapped in a body from hell that not one of your loved ones understand. As of now, there seems to be enough people spreading chronic pain awareness. That is not needed from me. Chronic pain came close to ending my life more than my brain surgery and yet here I am: a college graduate, married with the greatest gift in the world: Kayci (my two year old.) Chronic pain is not a death sentence. I may know how to manage chronic pain naturally and generally cope with pain very well. I rarely allow it to control my life or my mind. But, I am human and I still have bad days but the difference is that I know I will be okay. Knowledge is power. I truly want people who are at the end of their rope with chronic pain to read my blog or even email me with questions or support. Let us start spreading hope and support of this invisible illness. We are in this together and I have shared things in this blog I never wanted anyone to know but what the hell? I have come to an age that I try very hard to not care what others think as they too are battling things I know nothing about. Yup, I have made some awful decisions. Many of them are in various posts. Pain changes people. Now is the time to start making some positive changes and learning different tools to manage chronic pain. I am here for you every step of the way.