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Improving Your Life With Chronic Pain

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“Being in a hurry to improve yourself only slows down the process.”

Unknown

I believe that the Universe sends me extremely “difficult days” (aka chronic pain takes over my body) as a reminder of how my life used to be and how grateful I should be for how I only have difficult days once and a while now.  I awoke two mornings ago and felt like I had been hit by a bus.  I rarely, if ever will use the word pain in my articles but let me tell you, I was consumed by physical pain to the point that even my beautiful daughter’s voice hurt my head.  The pain progressed throughout the day and once my daughter was asleep I just laid in bed with my eyes shut because it hurt to much to even watch television.  I did not catastrophize as I once would have because I knew the following day would be better and I would slow down a bit and would be able to put chronic pain on the back burner of my life.  I do not know how I survived in that much pain for ten years non stop.  Honest to God, I cannot think of anything worse than chronic pain.  I have been in an odd place in my life as of late and have been focusing on my worries, my future, what I want but cannot seem to have, etc etc.  Basically I have allowed my mind to take over and the true Jessica has just been running on auto pilot: surviving but not living as I usually do.   The Universe came in and took over and reminded me of just how awful and painful my life was for ten years when I had no idea how to manage chronic pain without finding a cure.  I spent ten years struggling to just watch television or read.  As terrible as the other day was, it is a good reminder to me to remember my past and how fortunate I am to manage pain naturally and the day was a good reminder of how most of my readers feel on a daily basis.  I give every one of you so much credit for even reading my story and my journey with chronic pain.

I have a friend who has fibromyalgia.  Her daughter goes to the same dance school that my daughter goes to and we randomly started talking one day and she was brave enough to share with me her battle with fibromyalgia.  She had no idea at the time that I have had chronic pain since my bike accident twenty years ago.  We quickly became friends as we had a lot more in common than chronic pain.  However, she is in the wraths of the chronic pain world and still trying to grasp why she has to be in pain all the time and looking for any way out of her pain.  She (like many of you and myself in the past) is prescribed pain medication for her fibromyalgia.  She is at a point where the side affects of the medications are almost as bad as her diagnosis, if not worse.  She has no idea how strong she is. She weaned herself off a pain medication which from experience is one of the hardest things to do for yourself.  She went through the with drawls that come with tapering off a medication and still was able to care for her amazing toddler on her own.  A few weeks ago we were on the phone talking and she was in tears feeling like she was a ‘drug addict’ because she still takes some medication for pain.  Self-hate comes with an invisible illness quite often.  Instead of my friend looking at what an amazing accomplishment she made by taking herself off a medication that relieved her pain and her doctor prescribes, she focused on the fact that she was still on some pain medication and was struggling with pain behaviors and mood swings: all the emotions that come with chronic pain.  Why are we so hard on ourselves??  Myself included.  I could walk right into any neurologist or pain management doctor’s office and they would see my medical history and I would be prescribed Percocet or Vicodin  in a hot second.  I have not been to any doctor regarding pain and have not gone back to pain medication for years upon years.  I forget what a huge accomplishment that is until I hear my good friend putting herself down because she feels bad about herself for the medicine she is still on.  She should be congratulating herself for the medication SHE decided to come off of despite the fact that her doctor would prescribe it.  It was HER choice.  None of you are drug addicts.  None of you asked to have a life filled with physical pain.  None of you are crazy.  You are doing the best you can at this very moment.  And I know for certain that anyone who is reading my writings is strong enough to manage pain naturally and stop searching for a cure.  How do I know this?  Because the Jessica thirteen years ago would have broke her computer once she saw/read how a thirty four year old mother who looks fine on the outside can manage pain naturally. I would have hated this Jessica.  Yet, most of you continue to read what I have to share?  I wish I could go into your minds and tell you how incredible that is.  We need to give ourselves a break.  I believe we are all managing the cards we were dealt in this lifetime a lot better than we give ourselves credit for.   Change of any kind takes time.  Rushing anything and expecting immediate results not only can slow down your progress but can diminish any progress you have made thus far.

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