It is incredibly difficult to understand pain as it comes in all forms: physical, emotional, some visible, and most invisible. For ten years chronic pain destroyed my life and happiness. I never thought that just taking a bike ride in my early teens would instantly change my life with one turn of my front tire. I definitely did not believe after living through brain surgery, I would later end up living with chronic pain. However, I cannot change the day I fell off of my bike and nor can I change that at the age of thirty three I continue to live with chronic pain. Chronic pain came closer to killing me than brain surgery: only someone who has some form of chronic pain can possibly understand that. Physical pain changed me forever and it took over ten years for that pain to give me purpose and strength. It was not until I came to a place of acceptance and stopped searching for a cure that I began to live. I manage chronic pain naturally and for the most part I truly do not allow pain to interfere with my happiness, dreams, or peace.
However, lets be honest. Just because I have been through hell and back in my journey with chronic pain does not mean nothing bad can ever happen to me again. I sometimes will say: “I have been through enough.” However, this is life and like the quote says: “My life is based on a true story. You cannot make this shit up.” I have so much to be grateful for. I never believed I would be able to manage chronic pain naturally, be a mother, have a family, have a degree, or be helping others with their invisible illness. I am human and difficult times are going to happen and I will feel emotional pain and go through things I never thought possible. Life seems to be really testing my strength right now and there have been moments where the emotional pain I am feeling is really affecting my management of chronic pain but I keep going. I know who I am. I do not give up. The difference between the Jessica at the age of twenty one when I thought chronic pain would kill me and the Jessica at thirty three who is struggling with emotional and physical pain is that I know all of this will make me stronger and there is a purpose for all suffering. That is a huge difference. Hope and the knowledge that everything will be okay makes pain easier to bear in some small way. I have to remind myself of that daily but my inner wisdom knows this to be true.
My two year old daughter was Elsa from Frozen for Halloween. My eyes teared up when I saw her looking in the mirror at herself in her Elsa dress, sparkly hair, crown and wand. She was in heaven and just kept dancing around our house, having no idea that we were about to knock on strangers doors for candy. I believe she enjoyed the costume more than the candy and continues to grab her crown and wand throughout the day. The fact that I am the mother of such an amazing, empathetic, happy, loving child is a huge gift. A gift that I thought was never going to happen for me because of chronic pain and yet she is. If you read my blog, you either have chronic pain or are going through a difficult time. I know and feel your pain and struggle. At this moment I know there is a purpose and pain will make you and I stronger. If I can say and believe that, anyone can. Just keep going, one day at a time and know that life is a journey: pain will change you but it will not destroy you.