“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes? But when you look back everything is different?”
The best day of my life was the day I brought this angel into our world: February 2nd, 2012. I am sure so many parents feel that way about the days they brought their children into this world however I never thought I would be able to physically or mentally be able to be a mother because of chronic pain. For years I lived in constant fear that my invisible illness had stolen all of my dreams and desires. I battled my chronic pain demons to the point of self destruction. During my darkest hours of pain I dropped out of college and gave up on any life I had hope for. I began to mourn the loss of the Jessica I believed was gone. I mourned all the losses I thought had been ripped out of my heart without any reason except incurable, non stop, excruciating physical pain. Yes, I had dreams to do well in college and become a teacher or a counselor. I had dreams of becoming a writer and sharing my stories. However, my biggest dream in the world was to be a mother. The thought that chronic pain had stolen any chance of my biggest dream coming true was too much to bear and I did hit my rock bottom in my relentless battle with chronic pain.
Fast forward a couple years to when I first heard the words: chronic pain and acceptance and I was taught how to manage my invisible illness naturally and my dreams slowly began to come to fruition. Despite chronic pain I graduated college and received my degree in social work. I spent many amazing, unforgettable years practicing social work in the medical field. I was healthy. Chronic pain was no longer controlling my life and I was finally in charge. I was no longer battling my invisible illness or allowing the illness to take away my dreams. My biggest dream came true when this little girl entered my life and I became my favorite word in the world: mother.
I keep a one liner journal that I have shared with my readers at times and will continue to do so when special days arise. Each day I write one to three lines of what stood out most for me that specific day whether the day was difficult or amazing I write it down. I never thought that taking a few minutes a day to write down three sentences would alter my view on my life to the point it has. For ten years chronic pain controlled every moment of every day of my life and honestly came close to taking my life. I lived in catastrophic mode realizing like in the movie: “Groundhogs Day” I would wake up every day and be in a state of pain with no relief and no cure. Despite having control over my invisible illness I still have difficult moments and at times a whole day with pain and have a difficult time distracting myself from my physical struggle. I am also human and chronic pain is not the only difficult thing that has happened in my life and I will continue to face the challenges life brings us all. I am able to look back on my one liner journal every day and see just how much can change in a day…a week…a year. This journal reminds me that no matter what, I can never give up and that all my hopes and dreams will come true no matter what my current situation or current mood is. I want to share with you my journal one-liner entries are for February 2nd.
2011: I had a D & C/miscarriage. We lost the baby boy that was inside of me. I cannot get off the couch and just don’t want to be alive. I have worked so hard to get to where I am and had my dream inside me and the doctor ripped it out of me. I’ll never be the same.
2012: Our daughter, Kayci was born! I am a MOMMY! Kayci was born at 7:41pm. The same doctor that did my D &C last year delivered my daughter! Six pushes! I have never been so happy. This was the greatest moment of my life.
2013: Kayci turns one! Birthday party of the century! My mom was amazing and got a pony to come to our house 🙂 She did so much to help celebrate my angel’s first year and sadly missed the party because she was in the hospital.
2014: Kayci turns two!!! Had an amazing birthday with our family and loved ones. I had two glasses of wine and was literally hungover from just that. What happened to me? When chronic pain was terrible two glasses of wine would have been like juice! I am such a different person! Exercised and did yoga nidra to feel healthy again!
2015: Although it has been a difficult few months I refused to allow my recent struggle to ruin Kayci’s third birthday! Decorated house to surprise her and spent quality time with my now three year old.
2016: Kayci awoke at 4:45 am because she was so excited to turn four! She loved finding the small gifts hid around our home. I took her to Build a Bear to start a birthday tradition. I was in tears of happiness watching her joy as she built her own bear. She is the best kid ever!
2017: I cannot believe Kayci is five! It is bittersweet for me, where is the time going? Decorated house and exercised with my now five year old. I took Kayci to Build a Bear to keep the tradition going. She did not remember last year so it was all new to her again. I had tears of happiness again. We had pizza and cake at home and she was so happy she refused to go to sleep.
I share this with you because everything does change and although you may feel hopeless with your personal invisible illness or crisis at the moment you must remember that everything does get better with time. I have things in my life that I wish were happening now and I have multiple struggles in my life that I wish were better this second. However, I know all my dreams and desires will come true especially when I see days like the one above. I cannot lose faith or hope and neither can any of you. You may feel sad, hopeless and defeated today but you truly do not know what is in store with you and this time next year everything may be totally different. I will not give up hope and neither should any of you!