Support for Chronic Pain

Break the Silence

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“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

I would like to start out by saying that when it comes to such things as history, geography, or math for that matter I am very ignorant.  In high school and college the only subject I truly enjoyed was literature and writing.  I did not listen about Columbus and could have cared less why we were off of school each year for Columbus Day: just happy I could stay home.  Yes, a lot of my non-attention to history etc was due to the fact that chronic pain was all I could focus on but I really just was not interested.  Even now, it was literally this year (I am 33 yrs of age) that I learned Alaska is a state.  All theses years I thought Alaska was a country: no, I am not kidding.  However, the only parts of history that fascinated me were the subjects based on Civil Rights Movement and because my favorite book as a child was “Diary of Anne Frank” Nazi Germany and every tiny part of that time.  To this day I love watching the movie: “Swing Kids.”  If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend it (great distraction from pain!)

Schools are all closed for Martin Luther King day which is in two days.  This was one “holiday” I was interested in as a child to know why I did not have school.  When people ask the question: “If you could meet anyone, dead or alive who would it be?”  My first response is always: Dr. Martin Luther King followed by Elf (the character, not Will Farrell.)  After Kayci and I picked the children I nanny for up from school yesterday I asked them if they were learning about Martin Luther King.  They were too distracted by my insane two year old holding two purses, four pretend phones, a box of Annie’s Bunnies, and talking aloud to Tinkerbelle.  I tried to talk to the kids about one of my favorite heroes of all time but lets be honest they are kids beyond excited to get out of school for a four day weekend.  I did tell them who my hero was and why and I hope some of it sunk in but Kayci usually steals the show.

There are so many quotes Dr. Martin Luther King has said or written that I could post and talk about.  After looking at about fifty I saw this and BAM knew I had to write about the above quote: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  This quote is exactly why I write this blog.  I never thought I would share my entire journey with chronic pain for all the world to see as a lot of it is quite personal and well some may say embarrassing.  I am sharing with the world my secrets and things I have done in the past to numb my physical pain that I am not proud of.  I am sharing things I had once been afraid to write in a personal journal, much less on a website.  I am brutally honest and to be quite frank, I am not embarrassed and refuse to be silent about chronic pain and my journey with this invisible illness because I truly want to help, save, support every single person that is in a dark place dealing with an invisible illness.  I never wanted to share my ups and downs during this long, intense journey with chronic pain that began as a young teen and brain surgery.  However, I am no longer ashamed of my downs and behaviors I have written about because it is my truth and my past does not define me.  I have written this quote before: “We are all addicted to something that takes the pain away.”  I am proud of myself because I no longer allow chronic pain to control me and work my ass off to manage the pain naturally.  It is an amazing feeling when you love yourself and go to sleep each night knowing you are doing your best and have nothing to hide nor lie about.  Because I know chronic pain so well and what it can do to a person I never judge any person for any action/’addiction/behavior done as a result of not knowing how to cope with chronic pain.  I did not write the above sentences in an effort to brag about how well I manage chronic pain because I have fallen down a few times and I do not always manage it well!  I am just no longer at war with myself and am able to love myself.  There is a difference between pain and suffering and I suffer a lot less than I did in the past.

I will not be silent about my journey with chronic pain.  People may look at me different, friends/family members may read this and be shocked at some things.  I just need to do this.  If I had to fall off my bike and endure brain surgery and a life in physical pain I am sure as hell going to make it a mission to turn a tragedy into a dream.  I have always wanted to be a writer and I have always wanted to help people.   I will never judge any of you and I want you to know that you can get to a good place.  I will honestly answer any questions you have because as Dr. Martin Luther King said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

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2 thoughts on “Break the Silence

  1. Mike says:

    Interesting post. It’s both good and bad that our kids, and many of us, are too young to really understand how far race relations have come. As a child born shortly after the height of the Civil Rights movement I still barely caught the back end of how bad race relations were.

    What I take from this, and perhaps you interest in King, is that those of us with invisible illness, that suffer from invisible afflictions, usually suffer in silence and are in fact a disenfranchised bunch. We are put down on and judged to be inferior.

    I think it would be great if someone could invent a machine that showed the amount of pain, like an XRay or something that showed the amount of pain someone was in at any time so that people could see it, like it was a tangible thing. Or another analogy I have, this is off the path a little too, if pain was like an invisible monster standing at your side tormenting you some people would have hampsters or crickets and others would have huge clawed gigantic beasts. Again off the path. Learning to tame that monster and live with him is our mission. Making peace which is what you have done (with a lot of effort).

    Back to King. He saw the dignity and equality of all people. He saw the blatant prejudice and said “No more. I will not be silent”. He made a difference.

    You are doing the same. There are many out there with invisible disabilities/illnesses that have no voice. Your blog shows that we can have dignity in the face of pain, we can have lives and need to be heard and treated with respect as equals.

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