“Making a big life change is pretty scary. But, know what’s even scarier? Regret.”
I received an email from someone who has been following my blog for quite some time. There are so many of you who read my life stories yet I only know you exist through my heart not through your words. I appreciate any and all emails I receive from my readers because it helps me not only help you but the many others who are suffering from their own invisible illness. The special young woman who wrote me is currently in University and has been searching for a cure for chronic pain for many years. Recently she was told by one of her doctor’s that she could enter a program that is four days a week. The program is a lot like my personal way of managing chronic pain: acceptance and natural ways of management. I believe the program is called: “Acceptance Therapy.” She wanted my advice on what to do: continue her search for a cure or enter this program that is all based around acceptance. She is worried and scared as well she should be. I was a confused wreck when I was offered to enter the Mayo Clinic’s Pain Rehab Center many years ago. My mind wanted to keep searching but my heart and soul knew I had run out of options and I had to face my fears and enter a program I was at first very concerned about. Needless to say, acceptance and learning how to manage pain naturally changed my life forever.
I would like to quote something this amazing person wrote in her email to me: “I’ve been feeling like there is no hope left. I can’t stop crying because I feel like there is no hope left and I will be sick and in pain for the rest of my life, and feel like I will have to give up a lot more than I already have. If you have time please help me and give me your advice on which direction to go.” Her fears and life are so much like mine at her young age that is heartbreaking for me to read because I know exactly how she feels. However, I am sure most of you know which direction I informed her to go: to join the acceptance therapy program. Either way I will support her and be there for her as I am for all of you but for me her question was by far the easiest question any reader has yet to ask me. She has already lost a lot because of her illness as all of us have/had: money, friends, dreams, health, family, a life. I had lost the same and more when I was her age and I thought I would lose even more if I entered the Pain Rehab Center: I did not realize that I had nothing left to lose, everything was gone. I lost my life and had I not entered the PRC program I would not be where/who I am today. Acceptance therapy is a very scary choice in the world of chronic pain but I am living proof that one can accept and live with chronic pain and be happy. I gained my life back and I honestly do not believe I would still be alive had I not accepted chronic pain and learned how to manage it naturally. We are all so much stronger than we believe and the scariest decisions in life are usually the most important and life changing. You are all doing the best you can and I am proud to know each and every one of you.