“Hey you, out there in the cold, getting lonely, getting old, can you feel me?”
Pink Floyd: The Wall
One of my biggest concerns when learning how to accept and manage pain naturally was that my friends and family would think I was perfectly fine because I no longer talked about pain, went to doctor appointments, and literally was going to “fake it till ya make it.” When I arrived home from the Pain Rehab Center, people thought I had been cured. I was such a different person and living such a different lifestyle that my loved ones must have thought: “Damn, whatever surgery or medication the Mayo Clinic gave Jessica for chronic pain is amazing.” I wanted to scream: “I AM STILL IN PAIN ALL THE TIME!” But, the concept of talking about pain will only bring my mind back to pain was drilled into me so much that I had to force myself to not talk about how I was physically feeling. This is not to say I did not talk about my experiences at the Mayo Clinic but I never complained and kept working on the concept: “fake it till you make it.” As I have said probably fifty plus times throughout this blog is that the worst thing you can ever do to a person with an invisible illness is not believe them. I did write a letter to each person I was close to including family and friends explaining that the pain was still there, no magic cure to chronic pain, but that I was managing it naturally and would be living a different lifestyle that everyone was accustomed to.
I can now be a voice for chronic pain because I know how to manage it naturally and am at a place (you will be too) where I am able to share my journey and story in order to help others without it causing me pain. However, for many of you are screaming inside to everyone for help but the noise will not come out. Or you are screaming to those you love that you are in pain and yet they do not believe you or think you are being dramatic: “You look fine, maybe you just need to do this or that…..yada yada.” You have heard it all, I know. Trust me, I know. I find in life now that this to can happen to a person without chronic pain or an invisible illness. It has to be one of the most frustrating, heartbreaking feelings when you are speaking your truth and people do not believe you. It becomes exhausting and is as close to painful as it is to have one not believe your invisible illness. It is true, a lot can happen in a year. This has been a difficult year and as I have written in a previous post: “It is one of the greatest feelings to go to sleep each night with a clear conscience.” Sometimes one has to go through chaos in order to find their highest peace and happiness. Chaos can last a day, a month, or a year. However, when I sit down and truly think about the chaos of the past year I intuitively know that it is going to bring greater peace and understanding to myself and the way I handle my life and my future. I do not know if everything happens for a reason: so many tragedies happen around the world makes it difficult for me to believe in many ideas or concepts. However, I do believe this: chaos will occur in all of our lives, whether you have an invisible illness or not. We are all able to get through the chaos and if we stay true to ourselves and our word during the chaos, the light at the end of it will shine brighter than any light you thought possible. I know how it feels to scream on the inside and I know how it feels to be screaming the truth and have your voice not heard. Yes, it sucks. However, you know your truth. You know that out of this chaos if you stay true to yourself, great things will happen.
I believe you.