Living with chronic pain feels less like living some days than it feels like dying. It can be such a defeating reality. Today was one of those days. My first thought as I woke up was, “Uh oh…SHIT! The pain is going to win today!” I dialed back my defeatist attitude long enough to do some yoga to stretch out the most painful spots and some meditation to try and get my brain around some calm. I tried, I really did. But today Fibro won.
What is so difficult for people who don’t suffer with chronic pain to understand is that it’s not just physical pain. It is a deep-seeded pain that radiates from inside. The intricately woven fabric of our being has such a delicate strength but like everything else, it has a breaking point. What I’ve come to realize about chronic pain, mine specifically, is that it is a perfect storm of toxicity. I believe that my Fibromyalgia onset came from years of abuse externally and internally. It became the only way I knew how to function. At some point in my youth, I stopped being the creative dreamer I was born to be and just started surviving. That routine behavior poured out into my adult years and the fear of life and the people I would find within it engulfed me. I was living my life in fear, by fear and because of fear. But, I was still here and it hadn’t won but it was killing me. The ways I was coping with the fear and the continued internal and external abuse were also killing me. The realization that I had only been surviving and not really living was incredibly liberating and scary. I didn’t act on it right away because I wasn’t ready to do any work to improve my situation. But I had a path I could travel whenever I chose to start traveling it. I knew it was there and I found comfort in knowing that there was something better than where I was, I just didn’t know when I would have the strength to take that step.
It took hitting rock bottom before the real healing began on November 29th, 2011. The day I got sober, the day I took the first step. I decided that I’d had enough. This wasn’t working and I needed to try something new. It hasn’t been an easy road, but I’ve never been one to take the easy way, even if it’s guaranteed. There is still so much healing to be done and there are days where my internal “perfect storm” gets the best of me. Today, having a support system of fellow survivors has been key in keeping me from taking more than a step or two in the wrong direction. Knowing that today is just a bad day and I need to be present in whatever that is is difficult and challenges the “fixer” in me to not feel as though I’ve failed. Instead, I am learning to understand that all of the toxicity will need to find a way out before it is all said and done regardless of the positives yesterday brought. I just happened to have a bad dream that kept me from sleeping well the rest of the night last night, and the weather provided the right amount of pain to whip up a flare for me today. I am not responsible for the unpredictability of this chronic pain I am surviving, but I am responsible to be present in the pain and heal the parts I do have control over.
So, today I will continue to sit here and celebrate my wins and feel all the feels that will make me cry in whatever waves they come at me. I owe it to myself. I owe it to the creative dreamer who is trying to find her way back home. I will take this unpredictable day and use it to advance my healing so that one day, I can say that I used to suffer from Fibromyalgia, but I survived it!!