Anger, Anxiety, Brain Surgery, Caregiver Stress and Chronic Pain, Change, chronicpain, Depression, dreams, Exercise and Chronic Pain, Fear of Abandonment, Griveving Process, Happiness, Managing Pain Naturally, mindfulness, Non Resistance, simplify life, spoon theory, Suicide, Suicide and chronic pain, Support for Chronic Pain, Teenagers and Chronic Pain

All Pain is REAL


My family and I watched the movie last night entitled: “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day” starring Steve Carrel.  The movie is based on my favorite children’s book and I was extremely impressed by how funny, witty, and thought provoking the movie turned out to be.  I honestly cannot wait to watch it again.  I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for the most part and the reason was due to pain, however it was not due to chronic pain.  That sentence may only make sense to those who also suffer from chronic pain.

One of my main tools for managing pain naturally is not talking about it.  However, for this post I must point out where exactly my chronic pain is located.  Because of my bike accident and subsequent brain surgery my pain is located in my face, head and neck.  I had many surgeries to “cure” my chronic pain before I began managing it naturally which only made my chronic pain that much worse.  However, this week I had my first real back ache.  Of course, I have had back issues since my accident but not chronically.  The worst of my chronic pain has always been in my face and head.  For over ten years, while I was searching for a cure to my chronic pain I took many medications, was at the doctor’s at least twice a week, and lived my life on the search for a cure for my invisible illness.  I never slept because the pain was too intense and over the years as each doctor, medication, and surgery did not relieve my pain I became depressed, agitated, angry, and began to isolate myself because I could not deal with being around anyone, even my family because pain had totally took over my entire existence.  Jessica and Pain were one of the same.

When I did hit my rock bottom and truly was at my worst: living in Boulder Colorado, not going to school, seeing doctors constantly, drinking all the time with friends, and crying day in and day out I finally went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  I unwillingly entered a program called the Pain Rehab Center where I learned how to manage pain naturally.  To this day I utilize the tools I learned there and have found a fulfilling life despite pain.  When I first entered the program I was pissed, and more depressed than ever.  No one looked sick.  Then again I did not look sick either but at the time I was so focused on my pain I could not imagine anyone else feeling as terrible as I did.   At that point I thought my pain had to be visible because it was all I could see.   There were about twenty people in my group and all had chronic pain but no one was talking about their pain.  Some people were laughing, walking around, reading, playing board games, emailing friends as I sat there thinking: “This is crap.  I could never be able to read or email a friend because my pain is way too much to bear.  It is hard enough to sit in a chair much less laugh with people I do not know.”  I wanted to quit.  My dad being my voice of reason urged me to stay in Minnesota and give the program a chance.  A few days in I began to hear people’s stories.  Turns out everyone did have chronic pain but no one had had brain surgery or pain in their face and head.  Some people had chronic back pain, fibromyalgia, phantom leg pain, migraines, etc.  I always thought having any kind of chronic pain other than my own would be better.  Having chronic pain throughout my face and head was and can still be torture.  I thought back then if I had back pain or phantom pain I could at least read or do this or that.  I learned this week how wrong my thoughts back then were/are.

I am not sure why I have had a back ache this past week.  I came down with a stomach virus just yesterday as well so maybe they are correlated but I really do not care why my back hurts.  I learned a long time ago that trying to figure out why something hurts will only bring more attention to the pain.  This is not always a good thing and as a disclaimer I would like to say that it is always important to not ignore pain or any ailment for too long as there are times something could be seriously wrong.  However, I knew nothing was life threatening and I was just coming down with something and/or had over worked my muscles through exercise or just not taking enough breaks.  However, severe back pain is awful!!!!  I had insomnia for over three nights.  As I was laying in bed those nights that turned into mornings I remembered all those in the Pain Rehab Center with me.  I was a hypocrite at the time.  Pain is pain.  Chronic pain is chronic pain: visible or invisible.  Now I know what severe back pain feels like and it is just as bad as my chronic pain is: just in a different area of my body.  I am thankful to not have chronic back pain and as it is slowly going away I am grateful.   All of us who have chronic pain have critics within our life and those who are not in our life.  Many people do not believe our pain.  There is a huge stigma related to invisible illnesses.  I have been writing for over three years in hopes to help those with chronic pain and all invisible illnesses for that matter.  We need to stick together.  Does it matter where our pain is?  Chronic pain is an invisible illness that affects our lives in more ways that I can count.  Why even ask another where someone’s pain is located?  I learned this week after days of severe back pain that that pain was no different than when I was in the wraths of hell with my chronic pain which is located in my face, head, and neck.  There is enough judgement surrounding chronic pain.  Let us never judge one another who understand chronic pain.  Pain is pain and we need to be a support system not a group of individuals trying to figure out whose pain is worse than someone else’s.  Do not forget the three most important words to say to one with any invisible illness: I BELIEVE YOU.

Brain Surgery, chronic pain, Let go, Non Resistance

Pushing Pain Away: Inviting it to Stay


“If you are resisting something, you are feeding it.  Any energy you fight, you are feeding.  If you are pushing something away, you are inviting it to stay.”

Michael Singer

One of my wisest readers Kate emailed me regarding the concept of non-resistance and I want to share with you her final question on this particular email: “What made it sane for you (chronic pain) acceptance or disagreement?”  Do I want a life with chronic pain or any disease for that matter?  No.  I fought this invisible illness for ten plus years and with each fight and disagreement, my pain intensified along with my depression, anger, and eventually I faced a loss of will to live.  It was not until I stopped resisting chronic pain and accepted it as part of my life that I began to live.  I no longer wanted to die.  I wanted to manage pain in a healthy way and at times I do want to fight it but without acceptance I know for a fact I would never have graduated college, have a family, or be the healthiest version of Jessica I can be despite pain.  There are so many things in life that happen to all of us that we do not want but we are unable to change.  We can fight and fight and fight but with each battle we just bring more attention to what we do not want because we refuse to accept it.  However, once we do accept something whether we want it or not a sense of peace and the beginning of healing occur.  So, this is probably the easiest question I have yet to be asked by any reader: I found my life through acceptance: disagreement came close to killing me.

Kate emailed me again regarding her fear of “exaggerating her pain” as those with different diseases seem to manage it better and maybe she in a sense is just being “weak.”  No, you are not exaggerating your invisible illness.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  You have no idea what other people are feeling, how are they are acting, or coping with their particular illness behind closed doors.  What you and many of us are doing is overthinking chronic pain and the ailments that come along with it.  I have been around people from all walks of life with different medical issues and I will tell you right now, some of the strongest people I have ever met have chronic pain and most of their pain was non-visible. If you could turn your body inside out and the pain was visible, you would feel like a damn rock star and get the support and acknowledgement you deserve.  Never doubt your strength, compare your illness with anyone else’s, or feel that you are exaggerating your pain.  All of you can relate to Kate’s questions/fears/concerns/and doubts.  This post is for everyone suffering from an invisible illness.  I applaud Kate for her honesty and strength.  Acceptance is key.  It is the first step to the ‘healing’ process and will change your life.  Beating yourself up for being in pain is counterproductive and you deserve love: love yourself and be proud of yourself.  Saying that you should not be upset because someone has it worse is like saying you should not be happy because someone has it better.  Focus on you and your journey with chronic pain.

I am so proud of all of you that read my writings. I hope this post reaches you and you give yourself a break.  You are a rock star.

chronic pain, Depression, dreams, Fear of Abandonment

Judging Others With Chronic Pain


The stigmatism behind chronic pain is shocking at times.  You will find most people with chronic pain have Type A personalities and want to do everything without taking breaks.  You will also find that most people with chronic pain are perfectionists and quite hard on themselves if they do not achieve the level of “success” they desire.  Later, you will find that people with chronic pain are some of the most sensitive and empathetic persons you will ever meet. Do you know what people with chronic pain hate the most?  They hate that they are unable to do the things they love, work full time, and be the person they are inside, buried beneath all of the physical pain they did not ask for.   Nobody asks for chronic pain.  I now manage it naturally and very well ninety five percent of the time but I have “difficult days” aka days where my pain levels are high and I cannot do as much as I would like to and I have come a long way but it still angers me at times and frustrates the hell out of me.  To anyone who comes across my writings please remember this: NO ONE MAKES UP CHRONIC PAIN!  No one has any right to judge another person for how he or she lives his or her life but to judge someone with an invisible illness is quite frankly sad and shows the ignorance surrounding this condition.  People with chronic pain are not lazy, they are the opposite.  I know, I have been on both sides.  Those days where I laid in bed crying because the pain was so intense and I felt as if I was dying from within were some of the worst days of my life.  The sadness and loss I felt at being stuck inside as my friends and family worked and went to school ate me alive.  They were all following the dreams I wanted so desperately and there were times people thought I was just lazy or being a ‘baby.’ Who in their right mind would want to in pain twenty four hours, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year?  I have yet to meet someone with that hope.  Trust me, no one who has no experience with chronic pain does not want to feel what people with this invisible illness feel every day of their lives.  The guilt is already killing them, your judgement is not necessary. I am writing harshly today but it breaks my heart when people write me about the loneliness and judgement they feel from the people they love most.

Yes, I am living proof that one can work, follow their dreams, and live a happy life despite pain but there are days or hours such as this morning where the Universe reminds me just how difficult chronic pain is: its a gift that I sometimes forget.  Anyone who does not believe you or your illness needs to be set aside so you are able to focus on your health and your well being.  Stress, depression, endless crying, and anxiety only increase pain: who knows what battles the person who “judges” you is facing himself or herself?  I believe you and I swear you are not alone.

abandonment, chronic pain, inner child, Support for Chronic Pain

Happiness in the Midst of Pain


“Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you want are in harmony.”


Family is very important to me and I am not very close to most of my extended family, more so now that my Grandmother (La La) passed.  I love family and my dream has always been to have one of my own.   I never thought this dream would come to fruition due to chronic pain but dreams do come true with work, belief, and faith.  This past Sunday my very close cousin and uncle left our home after a three-day trip from Indiana.  If you know me, I do not like goodbyes of any shape, especially when I do not know when I will see a certain person or persons again.  I cry like a four year old on her first day of school.  My fear and trouble over goodbyes all goes back to my childhood and goodbyes bring out my troubled part of my inner child.  My parents divorced when I was young and the days my dad dropped me off at my mom’s house or another family members home were heartbreaking.  *side note: I love my mom very much and we have a great relationship but I did have some difficult times as a child.  My parents had me very young and were in a way still kids themselves.  Hell, I did not grow up until my late twenties! One of my most vivid memories of saying goodbye to my dad was when I watched him pull away and he was crying.  It broke my heart to see my dad cry which in turn made me cry more.  I can still picture his face, the driveway, and the door I was standing in as tears fell down my face.  Yes, I saw him two days later but for some reason this was one of my hardest goodbye as a child.  I have had a fear of abandonment since a child and chronic pain only intensified that fear.  I have worked through it a lot but I still hate goodbyes more than anyone you will ever meet: pending on whom I am saying goodbye to of course.  Some goodbyes are awesome!

I cried for a bit after my cousin and uncle hopped in their RV set for their ten hour drive to Indiana and I thought the day would be miserable.  In the past when people I love leave, I ended up being depressed for the rest of the day.  However, I decided consciously and sub-consciously to change this pattern.  My daughter was fine and I thought she would be a mess as she is so in love with my fifteen year old cousin.  I did not want to be sad so I first changed my thoughts and then planned a day that was fun.  It was beautiful outside and as the quote above says: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you want are in harmony.”  I planned a day to go to a place called: Camden Gardens.  The center was having a Halloween celebration and Kayci was able to dress up as Anna from Frozen (shocker!)  Disney did well with this movie, let me tell ya!  We had the greatest day.  It was a warm day, Kayci was able to go trick or treating though the gardens and there were dance contests (see above) crafts, and just positive energy everywhere.  We rode the Merry Go Round four times and watching Kayci laugh to the point of losing her breath is a moment I will not forget.  Yes, I was the mom on the ‘dance floor’ doing the Cha Cha slide and Thriller as my daughter danced in her glory.  We even won a Mummy contest and received four free tickets to the next event at Camden Gardens.  My inner child was thrilled and not frightened or depressed as she would have been last year after saying goodbye.

Things like this just prove that life really is a journey and nothing we want or cognitively know we need comes right away.  It is  a process and it really does not matter how slow you go or if you fall ten times because you have already set your intention and you just have to have faith that your inner scars: physical and emotional pain will heal in their own way.  There is no dead line or exact time which can be beyond frustrating and scary.  I always said the worst part about living with chronic pain was having no cure or end date to my pain.  I would announce: “I can stand this pain for two, three, four or even five more years if there is a cure at the end.”  Twenty years later and I am dancing to the Cha Cha slide with the miracle I call Kayci at Camden Gardens: that cure never came but my happiness did return.

Suicide, Suicide and chronic pain, Support for Chronic Pain

Save Me From Pain


“Save Me From My Reality”

Many people say that suicide is a selfish act and I can understand why a person would feel that way as I have been on both sides.  I lost my Uncle to suicide when I was very young but the memory of my Grandmother, La La mourning her youngest son is something that I will never forget.  I cannot imagine losing a child and I honestly choose not to even think about it as my daughter stole more of my heart and soul than any human could ever take.  However, I do not know the pain my Uncle was in but to take your own life the pain must be so bad that one sees no other choice and sadly I understand that feeling as do many of my readers.  I have written this many times but the number one reason a person with chronic pain dies is by suicide.  Is this statistic shocking to anyone?  It is sure as hell not surprising to me.  Some days I have no idea how I made it through.  Not only did I not die but I learned to truly live despite pain.  I cannot tell you the amount of nights in Colorado I would just sit in the freezing snow drinking with friends and just crying, screaming (literally at times) for help.  I remember the coldness of the snow and not even caring whether I had a jacket on or not.  I remember drinking to the point of endless tears that finally got me to fall asleep.  I stopped caring about myself and my life.  All I knew was pain and there came a point that I truly did not care whether I lived or died.  I never thought about truly ending my life or a way to do it because I never wanted my dad to go through what I saw my La La go through but if I did die from carelessness or by my lifestyle I think at the time I was okay with that.  Ten years of living with chronic pain that only got worse year by year had done me in.  If you have seen pictures of me from that time in my life I am almost unrecognizable.  I was not the Jessica I was before my accident nor the Jessica I am now.  That is not to say I would ever judge a person for thinking about suicide or judge any action a person takes to relive their physical pain.  I get it.  I write to not only share my story but to show people with chronic pain that there truly are ways to live a happy, fulfilling life despite an invisible illness.  I also want to spread awareness regarding this life threatening disease that most cannot see but a disease that is felt so strongly it can cause a person to end their own life.

Yes, I have accepted chronic pain and manage it naturally and you will not see me at the doctor’s office for anything having to do with chronic pain.  Am I an anomaly? I do not know.  I found what works best for me but I have already known two people with chronic pain who took their own lives.  I met them at the Mayo Clinic.  I will never forget the phone call I got from one of my closest friends there who lost her husband to suicide.  She was the patient, he was her main caregiver.  Chronic pain clearly does not just affect the person with the illness but the people closest to them as well.  It was heartbreaking to hear this woman who had the same illness as myself cry. scream, and worst of all blame herself for her unwanted invisible illness.  They had two children.  Chronic pain is no joke whether you are able to see it or not.  I never write my inspirational posts to brag or get everyone on board with how I manage chronic pain.  I write because I do believe I fell off my bike to help other people and it is my passion.  For the loved ones of those with chronic pain, I urge you to never judge how your loved one choses to manage their invisible illness.  You have no idea how much pain he or she is in and the best thing you can do is let them know you believe them and love them despite their disease.

I am thirty four years old and feel a lot younger than I did at the age of twenty four.  I am healthy, happy, and living my dreams despite chronic pain.  My hope is that in my lifetime the number one death of those with chronic pain is no longer suicide.  I will do whatever it takes to make that statistic nil.   I am here and I know so well how you feel. You are never alone nor crazy.  The best we can all do as a society is stop judging others for how they chose to deal with their pain.  That would be a great step in the right direction.

chronic pain, dreams, Managing Pain Naturally, Miracles

Make Your Dreams Come True


“I want to remember that no one is going to make my dreams come true for me… is my job to get up every day and work toward the things that are deepest in my heart….and to enjoy every step of the journey instead of wishing I was already where I want to end up.”


The picture above was taken this past Friday in Philadelphia by the famous mosaic: The Dream Garden: a piece of art so exhilarating one has to see it in person to truly understand it’s magnificence.  I know, my three-year old daughter looks thrilled: she had the playground on her mind haha.  This piece of art got me thinking about my dreams and how as a society we seem to want immediate gratification especially when it comes to our dreams.  Thinking back to my ten years of hell searching for a cure to  chronic pain, I know I did not want to wait for relief from the constant, nagging pain.  Who would?  Who does?  I wanted a cure every time, which was at least once a week I stepped into the office of a doctor or any specialist that thought they had the answer to the unrelenting, invisible pain.   Ten years later, no cure and to be quite honest those ten years of my  journey with chronic pain were pure hell.  However, if it had not been for those ten years I would not have ended up finding the Pain Rehab Center in MN and learning how to accept and manage pain naturally.  I believed chronic pain had stolen my dreams: now my invisible illness has only made my dreams that much bigger and in essence more real.    Dreams are like the mosaic above and maybe that is why the artist calls this beautiful work: “The Dream Garden.”  It is made up of tiny little pieces of glass, rock, and other things that by themselves look like trash but put together become a huge piece of art: magic.  Imagine how long it must have taken to make this piece of art and the above picture does not do it justice: the mosaic is huge, covering an entire wall with a fountain one can throw pennies in in front of it.  This mosaic was not made in a day and it was most likely the journey of making this piece of art that was most satisfactory and humbling to the artist, not the outcome.  Although, the outcome is truly amazing: my guess the artist ill remember the art of making this mosaic and the journey towards this dream more than the piece as a whole.

That is what dreams are about.  I have a dream to change lives through my writing and one day be known for my writing and my inspiring story with chronic pain.  I started this blog about two years ago.  I did not  think that with my first post or even hundredth post that I would be well-known or on the shelves at local book stores.  Sure, my dream is for this blog to become much more and I believe it will become something that people all over the country will read and hopefully get help from.  I dream of being on Ted Talks telling my story, being able to reach the millions of people suffering with chronic pain.  However, dreams take time: especially our deepest desires.  I have two dreams, one has to do with writing and one has to do with family.  I work on myself and my dreams each day just as the artist worked on his mosaic piece by piece.  When my dreams come true (and many have) I will be so beyond grateful but experience has taught me that I will remember the journey more than the end result.  However, because of the time and dedication I put into my dreams, my end results will be more magnificent and gratifying than had they just come true with the snap of a finger.  Enjoy the journey and trust the process, you will get there.  But remember: dreams do not work unless you do.

chronic pain, Law of Attraction, Worrying

Set The Tone for what YOU Want


“Well the question is, do I just dump all those unwanted things and start out fresh?  And we say, no.  You just set the Tone, where you are by looking for things to appreciate.  And by setting your Tone in a very clear deliberate way, anything that doesn’t match it gravitates out of your experience, and anything that does match it gravitates into your experience.  It is so much simpler than most of you are allowing yourself to believe.”


Are we making things too difficult, too complicated by overthinking every little thing.  Quite frankly, yes.  Myself included.  There are days where I find myself thinking more about my problems and worries instead of focusing on my blessings.   My first thought when I awake in the morning usually coincides with worry or fear.  Now this is a very difficult thing to change because I am only half awake and it is difficult to control the very first thought you have as you are lying in bed.  As most of you know the very first thing I do each morning is exercise and today was no different.  I have a cold, no biggie and as much as people tell me to not exercise when sick I have never listened and believe it or not that sweat and kick to anxiety helps both my morning worries and my cold symptoms.  *Side note: when I was in my darkest hours of chronic pain I actually wished I was sick with a sinus infection, flu, anything that had a label so I would get those flowers for ‘chronic pain’ so to speak.  Anyways, I am no longer in the depths of hell with chronic pain and do not really enjoy being sick, which in essence is a God sent. *

What I most worry about are things out of my control for the most part.  Cognitively I know worrying about things out of my control is not only a waste of time but pointless.  I do not want to be sad and worry.  I want to be happy and expect amazing things to happen.  I (we) can only focus on ourselves and our actions/beliefs.  Sometimes you just want to get into a persons head and wake them up or have some unbelievable sign from up above that your worries are just worries and your dreams are coming true.  I have just dropped everything in my life when things got really bad and tried to start fresh and it never helped anything that was wrong, especially chronic pain.  In fact, it made my problems worse.  So the question is: what do I do with these unwanted thoughts, worries, and fear?  I do what I do with chronic pain.  When thoughts of pain enter my mind, I distract myself with something else so that the frequency of my thoughts are no longer on pain but on something I love or enjoy.  This method to managing pain took years so I am not expecting a miracle here when it comes to my worries, unwanted, negative thoughts.  However, if I am able to distract myself and my mind from the most difficult thing I have ever faced, I am one hundred percent sure I can do the same with my worries, sadness, and fear.  As they say: “Worrying is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do but does not get you very far.”  I (we) need to set the tone for what we want NOT what we do not want.  I want to be happy, healthy, feel loved and appreciated, and make my remaining dreams come true.  If I act as if these things are already here and happening, the Universe will begin to align my above desires with actual truth.  It is all about changing out thoughts: a negative thought arises, we find something positive to think of.  There are times this is extremely difficult.  Why? Because we are human and our minds are very powerful.  We can get stuck in a rut of negative thinking that becomes a downward spiral into sadness and hopelessness.  This may happen, however you bounce back.  Trust me, I am the biggest worrier you may ever meet: #truth.

Try something this weekend and I will as well: with each worry or negative thought that enters your mind, whether it be about yourself or someone you care for quickly distract your mind onto something that makes you happy.  Two days we have in a weekend.  Let us try and do this together.  We all deserve to be happy: happiness comes from within and the first step is changing out thought patterns.

Law of Attraction, self love, Support for Chronic Pain

Relationship Between YOU and YOU


“Every relationship that you have is REFLECTING back to you the relationship you’ve accomplished between YOU and your INNER-BEING.   People LIKE you EXACTLY as much as YOU like YOU.”

Abraham Hicks

I have read and re-read the above quote about twenty times and have (per usual) read too much into it.  I agree with the above quote and will explain why in just a few sentences.  However,  I know many of you (myself included) are reading the last line: “People like you exactly as much as you like you” and you are  thinking this is just not true for there are some people who just do not like me no matter how much I love myself.  I agree one hundred percent for there are those who are not a huge fan of me due to whatever reasons : not everyone is always going to like you no matter how much you love yourself.  Everyone is fighting their own demons and quite frankly even when my level of self-love is at its highest there are few people I just do not like to be around.

With that said, I must admit this is one of my all time favorite quotes ever written, especially by Abraham Hicks.  Chronic pain caused me to literally hate myself to the point where I wanted to die.  I truly believed the world would be a better place without my burden and my invisible illness.  Not only that, I hated life: my life was pain.  Pain consumed every thought, word, and action.  Self hate is the darkest hate I have ever found.  Self hate causes more pain to others than anything else.  This is my opinion of course but in my personal life the changes in my relationships have a dramatic switch pending on whether I am practicing self-love or self-hate.  When I learned to manage pain naturally and ended my search for a cure, I slowly began to love myself and I was proud of the true Jessica.  All of a sudden my closest relationships changed.  Arguments lessened, people wanted to be around me more, I grew closer and closer to my family.  This is not a coincidence.  All of the positive changes in my relationships were/are a direct reflection of how I feel about myself.  I agree that it is close to impossible to find love with another being if you do not love yourself.  No offense, but look at the divorce rate in our country.  I just do not see many people who truly love themselves and feel good about who they are inside.  This has nothing to do with money or status: it is a feeling inside that no amount of money or luxuries can buy.  Some of the happiest people I know are below middle class and some of the saddest people I know have more money than they know what to do with.  We seem to be looking outside our own souls for love and happiness : this happiness and ‘self love’ will be short-lived, I promise you that.  Remember as a young teen buying your favorite pair of jeans that actually fit and you were so excited to wear them to school?  The whole day was great.  I do not know about you but as a teenager finding jeans or any clothes that fit was close to impossible.  So, you wear your new outfit a few times and just like any object you forget how special and happy those clothes made you and you are back at square one.  Does this mean to be  happy and find ‘self love’ one must buy new clothes each month?  If that is the case I’m screwed because I do not like shopping and the money I have rarely/if ever goes to clothes.

We can over think the above quote for a long time but after I did over think it, I realized how simple Abraham’s quote is to understand.  Without self-love and compassion for one’s self, relationships will reflect the anger and hatred you have towards yourself.  You have no idea how awful I was to those I loved back when I was fighting pain.  I did not know how to love another or be the true me because I hated life and was angry at every person who did not have chronic pain.  That anger and self-hatred almost killed me and I am still on the journey of finding self-love.  There are times when I question myself or someone says something about me or is cruel and I begin to believe what other’s think of me whether their opinions are true or un-true. Self-love is a process and my first step in finding self-love was accepting chronic pain and finding healthy ways to manage the pain without hating myself.

chronic pain, Depression, Let go, Managing Pain Naturally, Positive Energy

Gasping For Air


“Sometimes it hurts.  It hurts so much that you feel like your chest will cave in and the only thing stopping it are those gasps of air you take in between the tears.”

Unknown: But known so well to most of us

Recently someone has written me about being a burden and wanting/feeling the need to suppress her true emotions to keep her loved ones happy.  How many of us have felt this once or fifty times during our journey in life with or without chronic pain.  Chronic pain is awful but emotional pain can at times be just as bad and definitely just as invisible.  Pain is pain: hurt is hurt.  I used to lay in bed for days upon days and just cry until I literally could no longer find any tears.  I would not move, eat, and it was difficult to take sips of water because I was literally choking on tears.   I have come a very long way but I still have these times where either the physical or emotional pain are just too damn much to tolerate and just like chronic pain no one understands.  This is a very honest post about how I feel at this moment: I cannot say that I am sad because that is not the correct adjective but I am very emotional.   I rarely share my bad day(s) with my readers but I feel it is important for you all to know I too am human as I sit here with tears falling down my face.  I don’t want to cry.  I want to practice what I preach, which I do on a daily basis but there are times that I break and I do feel as if I am gasping for air because I just cannot stop crying and I know you know how that feels.  I want you to know that I have not conquered this game of life or this life with chronic pain and I never will.  Each year gets better and there are very few times where I am this emotional and maybe it is a good reminder to me to know how all of you feel non-stop as I once did.  I am managing chronic pain naturally, which can be a full time job in itself.  I am beyond excited to extend our family but as we near the end of the road the amount of hormones increase so do the tears.  Thank God I am cognizant that the hormones have a lot to do with how I feel.  And trust me, I would not change my course of action on having more children for all the money in the world.  I would  take tons more hormones if that’s what I needed to do but it is not some picnic in the park.  People with chronic pain do not just have an invisible illness that they need to face each day: we all have the same life stressors/issues and life challenges that all of the world does.  Each challenge can, at times be more difficult for us because of chronic pain: pending on the situation.


It is now about six thirty am, Sunday and I am with my three year old watching Alvin and the Chipmunks.  Within an hour or less of what I was in the middle of writing yesterday the entire day shifted and the tears dried and everything: worries/concerns/negative emotions drifted away.  I was going to finish what I had been writing yesterday but some little girl wanted Mommy to make some food and an hour later I was in bed laughing.  I did not plan yesterday’s post nor did I plan this addendum.  However, this is solid proof of how much can change in just thirteen hours or even an hour for that matter.  It all comes down to knowing that there will be times where you may gasp for air because of all the tears but things can turn around in a split second and suddenly you are still gasping for air but because you cannot stop laughing.

chronic pain, Griveving Process, Managing Pain Naturally, Suicide and chronic pain, Support for Chronic Pain

I Almost Died: Truth Behind the Pain


“What doesn’t kill you, makes you wish it did.”


I was speaking with someone yesterday who has been a huge part in my journey with chronic pain and has helped light shine into my life just as the light does in the above picture.  The years that I spent wishing I was no longer alive are very difficult to re-live or write about because I can still feel that emotional and physical pain when I think back to the years in Colorado right before I hit my rock bottom and truly gave up.   The above picture was taken yesterday and I swear if anyone told me I would be going on an “adventure” through the woods with my daughter at the age of thirty-four I would have looked at them like they were absolutely out of their mind.  I would like to go back in time to my most vivid memories of the Jessica who was defined by pain and truly wanted her life to just end.

It was around the year 2000 or 2001 and it was a Sunday in Boulder, Colorado: the place to live if you truly want to forget you worries and party your ass off.  Sundays scared me.  Why?  Liquor stores are not open on Sundays in Colorado so the only way to numb the physical pain was to pray my friends and I did not drink everything we had bought the day before or waste a lot of money at a classy bar.  We usually ended up at a bar that served cheap appetizers and had a great happy hour and would down as many glasses as Merlot as possible.   Just as one becomes dependent on pain medication for relief to chronic pain, one can also become dependent on alcohol for the same relief.  Elvis Presley once said: “We are all addicted to something that takes the pain away.”  I recently discovered he too had a form of chronic pain.  My friends and I would not stay at the bar long as most of my friends wanted to study and get ready for the week ahead in the place I dreamt about and missed so desperately: college.  I “took a year off” not because I wanted to but between doctor visits, medications, self medicating, no sleep, and thoughts of dying there just did not seem to be enough time for school.  My pain had reached such a horrible point that I lost one of my favorite things in the whole world: reading and writing.  No, I was not blind for those years but the pain was truly so intense that looking at pages on a book hurt both physically and then emotionally.  I would watch my friends study and get ready for exams as I sat there with my other group of friends drinking or doing something stupid.  Jealousy ran through me like you cannot imagine.  I hated drinking, I hated that nothing could take my pain away, I did not enjoy what I was doing, I had lost myself to chronic pain and I never thought I would come back.  I did.  I beat the odds and when I think back to those days I am shocked that the Jessica then and the Jessica in the above picture are the same person. What is more shocking is that I never did find a cure to chronic pain and yet I read, I write, I graduated college with a degree in Social Work, I am a mother,I have a family, and I am following my dreams.  No cure.  Just a ton of acceptance, dedication and work.  I write this very often but I promise you if someone ten years ago asked me to read a blog about a girl who manages chronic pain naturally I would have screamed: ” YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND! SCREW HER…..Manage Pain Naturally, CRAP” and would run away in tears angry, hopeless, scared, and alone.  The tears would not stop falling until I fell asleep and I would not be reading what I am writing now.  I get it..  I get it so well that when I write about my darkest hours of chronic pain I cry.  I cry for the years I lost.  I cry for the mistakes I made.  I cry thinking about how much I really wanted to die.  I cry thinking about the millions of people who feel as I once did because I know how terrible it is.  Nothing compares to chronic pain, at least nothing I have encountered in my life.  I have been through a lot but I promise you nothing compares to my battle with chronic pain.  I never want anyone to think that I do not understand and I know I do not have to prove my pain to my readers because you get it.   Note to all of you: you should never feel the need to prove your pain to anyone, such a horrible feeling.  Yes, I write because I want to help and I want people to know that you can live a happy life despite chronic pain and you do not have to find a cure in order to be happy.  Do I believe I am a success story? Yes.  Do I believe what I write is inspiring? Yes.  However, don’t for one second think that I do not understand how you feel because I truly almost died two times in my life.  My bike accident/brain surgery came way too close to death but chronic pain is what came closer to killing me.