“When you’re trying to motivate yourself, appreciate the fact that you are even thinking about making a change and as you move forward , allow yourself to be good enough.”
I am so grateful for my life, my family, my health, and my future. To be sitting here today writing, trying as hard as possible to motivate, support, and help anyone I can manage chronic pain and reach a place I have is mind blowing. I swear many years ago, I never thought I would be able to enjoy just reading a book because of chronic pain and now I am truly living a life I am mostly proud of: life is a journey and there are still things I need to work on as we all do during our time here in this time and space. However, I have fallen down post Mayo Clinic where I learned to accept and manage pain naturally. I went back to pain medications twice since 2002: during those months I went back to pain medication were the months I truly hated myself because I knew better. Knowledge is power but it can also be a real pain in the ass. Hence the phrase: ignorance is bliss. The last time I ever saw a doctor for pain was right before I had a miscarriage on June 7th, 2013: my thirty-second birthday: another blessing in disguise. That is the day I saw the quote that now hangs in our bedroom: “A Year from Now You Will Wish you Started Today.” I knew how to manage pain naturally, I had all the knowledge and tools and had gone back to pain medication because life got super stressful and oddly had nothing to do with the above little angel we were blessed with. She was the easy part: other life stressors caused me to stop using the tools I so desperately need to manage pain without any doctors, medications, or God forbid searching ever again for a cure. So, I called my pain management doctor on my birthday and cancelled my appointment and in a way had to start from scratch. Back to the schedule, back to getting on track, and back to self love. The thought of sitting in a doctor’s office with my little girl just made me sick: sitting an hour in a doctor’s because of chronic pain knowing you could be at the playground or just having silly fun with your child made me physically ill. Granted, Kayci comes with me to fertility appointments but that is fun for both of us. She is so excited to have a sister (no brother Mommy: I do not like boys) and all the nurses and staff adore her and the best part is I am following my dream as opposed to sitting in a waiting room beginning the cycle of self hate.
I have said this probably fifty times by now but you need to truly hear me. The fact that you are reading this blog about accepting chronic pain and even exploring the idea of managing it naturally is the biggest step you have probably ever made since diagnosed with your invisible illness. I beg you to not be so hard on yourself. This is hard. I was a medical social worker, working with patients who had Cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, Dementia, Severe Arthritis, MR, Phantom Pain due to war, PTSD: you name it I have seen it all. After each diagnosis written out by our facility’s doctor came: depression, pain, anxiety. When I asked a patient what was the hardest part of being diagnosed with Lupus or Cancer, the answer was always the same: physical pain and/or depression. These are the two things you all are dealing with every damn day and I know for many of you , you do not see any light at the tunnel. Stop It. Why would you ever be reading a website written by some thirty something girl in New Jersey who had brain surgery and subsequently lives in pain twenty four seven but has accepted the disease and does not allow it to steal her joy. More than that, you are reading about someone who literally follows a routine to manage chronic pain so chronic pain does not manage her: it can be a full time job until it just becomes your life and slowly but surely your mind stops focusing on pain and instead on life. I sure as hell would not be reading this back in the day when I swore I would die if I did not find a cure to chronic pain. Clearly, you are trying to make a change and that in itself is phenomenal. Start slow and you may fall down: we all do no matter what demons we face in life. You are exactly where you are supposed to be right now today: do not project into the future because I do not know when or how or even what but something wonderful is going to happen and if you just start making small, tiny changes today (reading this blog is honestly so commendable) a year from now you are going to see a difference.
This Post is Dedicated to Alecia: A VERY STRONG PERSON