Angels, Anger, Change, Christmas with Chronic Pain, chronicpain, Depression, Empathy, Exercise and Chronic Pain, Fear of Abandonment, Griveving Process, Happiness, Infertility, inner child, Intuition, Law of Attraction, Let go, Loss, Managing Pain Naturally, Manifesting What you Want, meditation for chronic pain, mindfulness, Miracles, Non Resistance, Peace, perfectionism, Positive Energy, Rumi, self love, Silver Linings Playbook, simplify life, spoon theory, Suicide, Suicide and chronic pain, Support for Chronic Pain, Teenagers and Chronic Pain, The Universe, Worrying, yoga nidra

Your Cracks and Scars are What Heal You

78166f59951e8960f75a42571fb5ebff

“It’s easy to look at people and make quick judgements about them, their present and their past but you would be amazed at the pain and tears a single smile hides.  What a person shows to the world is only one tiny facet of the iceberg hidden from sight.  And more often than not, its lined with cracks and scars that go all the way to the soul.”

Unknown

I am a person filled with cracks and scars that do go all the way to my soul.  For a good part of my life I allowed these cracks and scars to harden me and become a person I did not love or even enjoy being around.  Self hate is truly the most powerful hate there is because it can cause a person to act out in hate towards others when really the only person he or she is unhappy with is themselves and/or their life circumstances.  I am still filled with cracks and scars that are not visible to the outside world however I no longer hate myself.  I can be excruciatingly hard on myself and perfectionism can get the best of me but I do not hate who I am.  I am filled with more self love now than I have had in all my thirty five years on the planet.  I no longer look at my cracks and scars as my enemy but as the building blocks that are creating my present and future.  Life is ten percent of what happens to us and ninety percent of how we respond to it.

This year has been jam packed with ups and downs.  I have had the highest highs and the lowest lows.  I have had miracles arise and devastations arise.  Ten years ago I would pity myself without welcoming pity from others.  I would have allowed the bad things that have occurred to define my identity.  Now, I try and find the silver lining.  I try and find the lesson behind each great thing that happens and each difficult thing that happens.  There are many things that have happened to me to bring me to the place within myself where I reside now: chronic pain, losses, mistakes, and my daughter Kayci.  I have faith in myself and my future because of my cracks and scars.  Look at that little four year old girl above who is just about to see Santa Clause and is literally holding in her built up excitement.  I am the lucky person that she calls Mommy.  She believes in magic and she helps me believe in magic because in my eyes she is magic herself.  One of my biggest losses happened in 2010 when I lost our son at about nine weeks gestational age.  Had that little angel not left us, I would not know or have this miracle daughter.

I had my bike accident in my young teens and have had chronic pain since.  For so many years all I thought about was how to get rid of my pain.  I not only thought about it but pain consumed my life, the life of my family, and a multitude of doctors and specialists who could not for the life of them find a cure to my invisible illness.  A day did not go by in which I did not think about a life without pain.  I am thirty five now and still have chronic pain and had you told me fifteen years ago I would be living with chronic pain naturally and having a fulfilled life despite pain, I would have either laughed in your face or cried in your face.  But, here I am living a life where pain does not dictate my life.  I have written and said this many times but it is just so relevant and true to all our stories: “If there is something that you do not go a day without thinking about or wishing for than you will find a way to achieve whatever it is you wish for.”  I never found a cure to chronic pain but my life took me on a different path where I learned to live with it and be happy despite pain.  In many ways my wish that I did not go one single hour without thinking about did come true just not in the way I had expected it to.  As you all know, I do not go a day without thinking about having another child and extending our family. Clearly it is not happening how I had wished and hoped for it to happen but it will happen because if nothing else chronic pain taught me that you never give up on something you do not go a day without thinking about.   In the meantime I am going to do everything in my personal power to bring me closer to my dream while still enjoying and being grateful for what I do have in this time and place.

Standard
Support for Chronic Pain

How Long Is Forever?

2604e5627d8343de73ae2ada622e2d79

Alice: “How long is forever?

The White Rabbit: “Sometimes just a split second.”

‘Alice in Wonderland’

You are probably wondering why there is a picture of a sidewalk next to a stone fence as any pictures I post are usually of people or include quotes that resonate with me.  I drive by this fence and sidewalk quite often as it is on a main road in our area and just a few towns over.  Every time I look at this stone fence I am reminded of the second my life changed forever.  This is it: this is exactly where I fell off of my pink cruiser and went sideways head first into this stone.   I remember every tiny detail that happened once I opened my eyes.  I remember the taste of the “diner’s mint” I was eating when I fell (I have yet to eat one of those since this accident.)  I remember the few cars that pulled over, drivers asking if I needed any help.  I remember being afraid because I was unable to move my right arm and I remember being extremely confused.  The one thing I honestly do not remember is the pain I must have felt and not just from broken bones but my head had to have been throbbing: hours later I would be in an ambulance speeding away to the nearest trauma unit for brain surgery as my brain was bleeding inside.  I have no recollection of physical pain, just fear.   Maybe this is why so many say and I agree with: “the fear of pain is often times worse than the pain itself.”  One added reason I chose to manage pain naturally; each time I would take something for pain, I was reminded of the pain.

Life can suddenly change at any moment and in the blink of an eye we can lose something: a person, our health, our life.  I think that is a very difficult concept for anyone to grasp if they have not gone through something as huge as brain surgery or a battle with Cancer, or the loss of a loved one.  I am a “different” person than the “norm” as a lot of people will tell you.  I do not see the world as other’s do and I think a lot of that has to do with the  fact that I do know what it is like to come close to dying but more than that I know what it feels like to live in pain twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  I have written this before but if I had to pick brain surgery once a year or chronic pain for life, I would pick brain surgery every time: that was the easiest part of this journey that began on this sidewalk.  This sidewalk and wall changed me forever: for better and at many times for worse.  One split second and one split decision just like the movie entitled: “Sliding Doors” with Gwyneth Paltrow.  I could have taken a different route home from the video store that day, I could have been wearing a helmet, I could have stopped at the light just before this sidewalk and stone wall: so many could haves but this is my reality.  Shel Silverstone wrote the children’s book: “Where the Sidewalk Ends” a book that my dad and I read a million times as I was growing up.  He remains one of my favorite poets and authors and I believe adults should also be reading children’s books such as his as the lessons are incredible.  Where does the sidewalk end?  It does not end for me.  The bag that hit my front tire that in turn caused me to fall into this wall on this brick sidewalk has made my life very difficult and yet has taught me more lessons than I could have ever imagined.  My sidewalk in my journey with chronic pain may never end and that is just a fact.  Hence the title of my twitter account: happy despite pain.

So yes, I am a character and I am the girl a lot of people do not understand and I beat to my own drum but that is not always a bad thing.  The saying: “life is short” is not entirely true.  Life for some is long and tedious, or long and amazing while for others life is short and awful, or short and a dream.  As The White Rabbit answers the very poignant question Alice asks: “Sometimes just a split second.”  My split second happened right here at this exact place in this picture.  For some reason I survived, there were many times in my life since then I wish it hadn’t because of the resulting factor: chronic pain.  However, I am quite grateful I survived despite chronic pain.  Try and love the people in your life and appreciate the little things because anyone of us could hit the wall above and we all have so many things to be grateful for.  Count your blessings because you do not know when or how your sidewalk will end.

Standard

15379407a07872e4dc8b1747b6e9b8c2

“Never give up on what you really want to do.  The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.”

Albert Einstein

I believe deep down my purpose in this world was to reach and help as many people with chronic pain as I could.  I did not believe this until I learned how to manage chronic pain naturally.  For someone like me who had brain surgery and spent most of her life searching for a cure to the never-ending pain, I never believed I would actually be able to manage chronic pain without medications, doctors, or surgeries.  It is literally a daily job that after time just becomes habit.  There are things I must do each day in order to control my pain and not think about what will always be there but in which I can ignore.   Each morning I when I wake up I do daily stretches before exercising.  I never exercised until I went to the Mayo Clinic where I learned to manage pain naturally.  It was a huge bonus that I fell in love with all types of exercise.  Pending on the day, I either do yoga, kickboxing, running, walking, or some sort of cardiovascular routine in which not only helps with my chronic pain but also the never ending anxiety/depression that this invisible disease brings along for the ride.   I have to incorporate a healthy diet, juicing, meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing, healthy sleep habits, and most importantly use healthy distractions that fill my soul with happiness that pain shoots to the back burner of my brain.  I used to say, managing chronic pain naturally is like a full time job and in many ways it is.  However, going to the doctors, specialists, and having different surgeries is also a full time job.  I tried that job: it never worked out.  This job of managing pain naturally works a hell of a lot better and is not only a healthy way to live but I am able to teach my two year old daughter healthy living habits.  The kid eats hummus and red peppers for breakfast as of now and can honestly get into about five different yoga poses and love exercising.   Nothing in the world is more important than your health but when you suffer from chronic pain you need more support than one would need (like myself) then when I had brain surgery.

I became a medical social worker to help people with chronic pain.  Although, I was able to help many people with various diseases and teach them amazing methods to manage any disease, the majority of my job as a medical social worker was sales.  I know how crazy that sounds (unless you have been a social worker in the medical field) but the goal of most companies is to get patients in and out of the facility as fast or slow as possible.  My last boss said to me: “Jessica, you really need to work on your sale skills, our numbers our low and the company needs more patients who can pay privately.  We cannot just take patients with Medicare.”  I looked at him and said: “I know I am awful at sales hence the reason I became a social worker.  I want to help the people who need it the most, not the people with the most money.”  That job truly got me off track with my management of chronic pain and I did get laid off because I was not a good sales woman. I had two jobs before this one as a social worker in which I made very little money but I was able to manage chronic pain naturally and I was truly happy and helping people.  For a year now I have been writing this blog about my journey with chronic pain in order to help, support and give faith to people to those who suffer from this invisible illness.  I am not sure if I have helped a lot of people but I know I have spread awareness, hope, and become very close with people from various countries whom thought their lives were over.   Albert Einstein said: “Never give up on what you really want to do.”  Am I crazy to think this blog could become well known and will enable me to help as many people with chronic pain as possible?  Most people would say: yes.  Am I crazy to think that my dream of writing a book about my journey with chronic pain?  I have always loved writing and always dreamt about writing a book but knew it would be impossible until I was able to manage chronic pain.  My bike accident took place in my young teens and I am now thirty three years old.  Talk about a journey with chronic pain.  I do not believe many people think this blog will turn into something much greater than it is as of now.  Most people think I am nuts to think that I can turn this into a book and reach people all around the world who believe there is no hope for their life because of their invisible illness.   As I have written before, the number one reason people die who have chronic pain is from suicide.  Sadly, I understand that and came close to truly wanting to die and if it had not been for my dad  and my grandmother, La La I may have done just that.   Intuition is rarely wrong and I truly believe I can do this.  It is difficult to write as often as I would like as I am juggling motherhood, managing chronic pain naturally, and work but I am not going to ever give up on my passion.  I want to millions of people who are affected by chronic pain to read my story and know that there is life and happiness despite chronic pain.   No, I do not have all the facts but what could possibly be more important than following my passion and helping people with their invisible illness.  Of course I wish I had never fallen off of my bike that early summer day.  I cannot change the fact I was not wearing a helmet and ended up having brain surgery that changed my life forever.  However, I can use my pain and my triumphs to change people’s lives.  I hope one day I can look back and say with a huge smile: “You did it Jessica.  You went against the odds and followed your intuition and millions of people are reading your story and gaining hope and strength from it.   I told you so!”

Uncategorized

Follow Your Dreams

Image