“Just keep going.”
That is my best advice for anyone dealing with chronic pain, a chronic health issue, or really anything.
But I didn’t always feel that way.
When I injured my back in early 2014- an injury that turned into chronic pain that I still deal with today, I wasn’t as familiar or accepting of a statement like that.
So don’t beat up on yourself if you’re not there yet.
I didn’t want to keep going, I wanted to give up.
My life was filled with nothing but countless doctors, treatments, injections, and therapies. The search for an answer felt endless, nothing was working and everything felt so hopeless. The only solution I was given at the time was pain medications and doctor after doctor spent just minutes with me.
I was very angry, depressed, and resentful of my new circumstances. I felt I couldn’t relate with my family and friends because they didn’t understand how hard this was, fought my body frustrated at all it could no longer do, spent months laying around on the couch, and I felt like a victim.
All I could think is “why me?”
With a lot of hard work, towards the end of the first year of my pain things started to turn around for me. But not in the way you may think.
The pain didn’t all of a sudden get better. But my perspective did. And that changed everything.
I started to see there was a meaning to all of this. Due to my pain, I was left with no other choice but to take a long hard look at my life and the path I was heading down in my life. I was in a career that wasn’t right for me, I was holding onto past resentments and beliefs that I needed to work through and let go of, and I was meant to turn my mess into my message and begin a new career coaching and helping others in their own health journey.
I never would have come to any of those realizations, or become the person I am today without my pain. And I am thankful for that.
Chronic pain isn’t my first health challenge. I’ve battled depression, chronic viral infections, and and disordered eating throughout the last decade. And all of that has made me someone who gets it. Who knows what it’s like to go through something. Someone who can come from a place of compassion.
Someone who can support others to keep going.
It’s truly my passion to help others and let them know they’re not alone. Because that is all I ever wanted.
My chronic pain, and everything else I have gone through has made me strong. I know if I can get through this I can get through anything. And that’s powerful.
It’s funny, I’ve been trying to write this blog post for a week now. I keep starting and giving up. I realized I was unable to write this until now because I was having a harder week with my pain, and that old helpless feeling crept back in. Those old patterns and beliefs I am a victim. I felt hypocritical- giving inspiration and encouragement when I myself needed it more than ever. Hurting and beating up on myself thinking “who am I to help others?”
But you know what I’m not perfect, I’m not 100% better and that’s OK.
It’s my vulnerability and sharing my story that is going to help others, not the fact that I’m completely healed. Because that’s not always part of the journey and I choose to be open about the challenges I still go through.
Every day truly is a new day.
Some days you may feel like you can get up and check everything off your to-do list, go for a walk, grocery shop and spend time with friends. And some days you may feel like you can’t get out of bed, and all you can do is breath and wait for the day to be over.
There’s no one way you “should” feel.
Everyone’s experience with pain and healing is going to be different. Some people’s roads are simple, and some are complicated and so incredibly challenging. However you do it is your own journey.
And you need to be proud of every step you take, accepting of the ups and downs, and ultimately always proud of the course you continue to fight. Because that’s huge. And it takes a lot of courage.
You just keep going.
It’s amazing all you will learn about yourself along the way.