“I’m not the same girl anymore, pain changed me.”
Chronic pain is a sneaky little bastard. For a third of my life pain changed me into an anxious, depressed, angry, Jessica that lived in a state of misery day after day. After seeing every specialist from this side of the Mississippi to the other side of the Mississippi I just said “screw it” got in my car alone, and took off from the East Coast straight to Boulder, CO. After dealing with endless pain with a thousand different doctors, surgeries and specialists I gave up. I literally did nothing in Colorado for about six months then drink, go to concerts, and party until I passed out. There were times my “friends” and I drove to Las Vegas on a whim just to see a Phish or Dave Mathews Band concert. The sad thing is I love music more than the average person but was so obsessed with not feeling my physical pain that I never even made it into the shows. Pain changed me. Am I responsible for my actions? Clearly. However, pain causes people to do things they would never have dreamt of doing. A third of my life pain changed me in the most negative ways possible. I was a depressed, lonely, angry, person who had lost herself. The things I liked most I lost: writing, reading, music, being with people, you name it. It was clear to most doctors the bike accident and brain surgery was the cause of the chronic pain but not one person ever said that term until I went to the Mayo Clinic. However, I had to hit my rock bottom in order to do so.
Following the long, extensive scary stay in Minnesota, pain changed me. I had never once exercised, ate healthy, practiced meditation, or did all the things I do now. The next third of my life pain changed me for the better. I love being healthy, I love working out, I love yoga, I love myself. I appreciate the little things and have passion. My passion is writing. When I was about nineteen, my friend Kait told me I was a great writer and should write a book (she is one of the most complimentary people I have ever met and just sweet as can be) so I did not listen to what she said. At this time I also hated myself, my life, as I was searching for a cure to chronic pain, self medicating, and it a total state of misery. I could not take a compliment because I did not feel good on the inside. Now, I have a story and a mission. I am not saying I am an amazing writer by any means. However, I am helping people and I truly love writing whether or not it is “good.” Most readers do not know this but I have yet to read most of this blog. I have read a few of my posts but because I am a mother, homemaker, nanny, etc. I do not have the amount of time I would like to truly read each post and edit them. In essence, right now it does not really matter whether a word is misspelled or a comma is missing because the content is true and I may not be helping tons of people but I am helping a few. I set an intention that writing will be my career. To be able to make a living writing, and helping people is what I was meant to do. I declared that to the Universe and work as hard as I can to make it happen.
Pain changed me. It is so crazy to actually realize it changed me for the better. I have chronic pain and some days or hours are awful but I am happy, healthy, and love myself. I have this beautiful daughter and I appreciate the little things in life. My daughter who will be three (shhhh, cannot handle that) loves yoga. She loves helping me make juices and running. She is kind and empathetic. Chronic pain did not just change me but in a way it changed my daughter and future children. I never would be living the lifestyle I live had it not been for that bike accident. I know how insane this must sound to most of you because even as I type this the pain sensors in my brain are trying very hard to keep my brain focused on pain. If I read this ten years ago I would honestly have wanted to kill the person writing it. I get it. I was/am you. You will get to this point. I know, you do not believe me but you will.
Pain changes you. For the worse and better.
There is a huge difference between pain and suffering.