chronic pain

Chaos. Is it such a bad thing?


“All great changes are preceded by chaos.”

Deepak Chopra

There is a reason millions of people say: “I have hit rock bottom.”  What lead to rock bottom?  Chaos.  When most people hear the phrase “rock bottom” they tend to think of alcoholism or some form of addiction.  However, rock bottom can come from loss, health issues, chronic pain, shit storms that happen to all of us at certain times in our lives when we just cannot take anymore.  Rock bottom can be the perfect place to be because once you truly hit the bottom, you truly can only go up.  The first time my life was total chaos aka rock bottom is a day I will never forget.  I had finally given up on finding a cure for chronic pain, my future goals, and my life.  I was lying on a mattress in Boulder, Colorado in the house I lived in with many friends with a sinus infection.  All I could see around me were red wine stains on the carpet, empty beer cans filling the trashcans in our kitchen, which I could see through a crack in the bedroom door, and more used tissues covering me than blankets.  All I could hear was loud music, laughter, people partying, and the loud stomps as people in their drunken state believed (as many of us have) they were the best dancers ever.   It was that moment that I can literally see and feel that I knew it was either death or a total change.  I never wanted this kind of life.  I wanted to be studying, hiking, playing kickball, learning, reading, and most of all I wanted the physical pain to end as it taken over my life.   I was in a state of chaos.  I had hit rock bottom.  This was it.  A few days later my friend and I left for the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to find help for my invisible illness.  In my mind it was either this or death because I was no longer living.  The chaos that entered my world as I was lying on that mattress was my push.  A few months later I was in the Pain Rehab Center learning how to accept and manage chronic pain naturally.  Following my departure from Minnesota, I moved into an apartment in Denver, Colorado and started practicing a healthy lifestyle and spent months practicing everything I had been taught in the Pain Rehab Center.  I literally had a daily calendar that listed what I had to do each day, every day in order to get chronic pain under control and begin the life I wanted.  Here is what it looked like.

Stretch (PT exercises)

Exercise for thirty minutes to an hour

20 minutes min of meditation (use CD)

Distractions: read, write, go for a walk, rent a movie, cook, crafts

As soon as you begin to think of pain: use a distraction

There is more but you get the idea.  A year later I was back in college loving the lessons I was taught as I decided to change my major to social work.  I wanted to help those with chronic pain and teach people everything I had learned from the Mayo Clinic.  When peers asked me to go out I never went (going out meaning drinking etc.)  Friday nights I spent curled up with a book, a healthy dinner, tea, and my cat.  Yes, I do not sound twenty two, more like sixty five but I was finally learning to live with pain naturally and was slowly training my brain to not think about pain.  Without the utter chaos I had caused or not caused I would not have found a life: “All great chaos is preceded by chaos.”

This was the greatest amount of chaos and change I have faced in my thirty three years, however I have faced chaos again and the great Deepak Chopra truly is, as always spot on.


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