“An old Cherokee told his Grandson: “My son, there is a battle between two wolves in all of us. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humanity, kindness, empathy, and truth.”
The boy thought about it, and asked: “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”
The old man quietly replied, :”The one you feed.”
We, as human beings are able to have so many different emotions on any given day. We can wake up anxious feeling rushed, then relieved and peaceful because we made it through traffic and got to work on time, then angry at a co-worker or boss, then excited because we received an email we had been waiting for, then resentment towards someone who has something we so desperately want but do not have, then happiness because the day is over and we are elated to get home and relax, then annoyed because the house is a mess and finally exhausted from all the ups and downs of the day. We forget that we do have control over our emotions and which ones we feed. For so many years I fed negative emotions because of chronic pain: I fed the anger, the resentment, the jealousy of those without chronic pain, the ego, the depression, the negative thoughts, the catastrophic thoughts, and the hopelessness I finally began to feel every second of my life. Ten years of feeding those emotions took a huge beating on my mind, body, and soul. I was feeding emotions that only increased my pain as opposed to feeding the emotions that would help me heal.
I no longer feed chronic pain with negativity or hate. I honestly do not feed it anything. If I feed my invisible illness any thoughts or emotions, my life will once again revolve around pain. Trust me, there are moments that my illness is starving for attention and wants to be fed negative feelings and thoughts and ninety five percent of the time,my illness gets left hungry because I feed it nothing. I am far from perfect, perfection is an illusion in itself. I do not want to be perfect because the moment I believe I am perfect is the moment I stop growing and learning: I will never be perfect and that is a good thing. However, I do feed my soul with empathy, love, hope, gratitude, and kindness. I now consider myself an extremely empathetic, loving person who never gives up. I still worry, I still get angry and when in a bad mood or having a difficult time with pain and/or anxiety am not always kind. I have consistently written about my two dreams that I thought chronic pain had stolen from me: motherhood/family and writing/helping people with an invisible illness. I have been certain of two things even when others have doubted me or questioned me: I will have more children and I will one day turn writing into my career. One of those has come true and I know many of you want to know and have a right to know because of all the prayers and amazing emails you have sent me: I am pregnant. I am four weeks along and will be granting my amazing daughter a sibling in October. I never gave up and there were moments when I just could not bear the thought of more hormone, shot, or appointment. I have been in fertility since May and went through six months of fertility treatments and trying to get pregnant the natural way and then three rounds of IVF. When I got the news I was pregnant, I screamed with tears running down my face and I am so excited I cannot even sleep. For the first trimester I will be monitored a lot and will continue taking a lot of Progesterone and Estrogen to ensure I carry this baby full term.
Chronic pain has taught me to never give up on something you do not go a day without thinking about. I never go a day without thinking about having another child. I am sharing this very personal part of my life (as if I do not share many personal things to help others) to show everyone that faith, strength, and never giving up works. The odds have been against me for so many things in my life and once I found a way to live and manage chronic pain naturally and be happy, I knew I could do anything and no one would stand in the way of my dreams. When it came to getting pregnant there were times I fed myself fear, jealousy, and anger but I truly tried to feed myself hope, love, and gratitude. I knew it would happen and when you really want something and literally cannot go one day without thinking about it please do not give up. Dreams come true with chronic pain. It all depends on what you decide to feed your soul.