For the past decade, I have lived with chronic pain. This condition, no matter what the cause, creates a chain reaction of chaos in one’s life: limited mobility, chronic fatigue, weight gain, economic instability, dependency on others, a shrinking social life, perpetual fear, and depression, to name just a few results.
In my case, the pain was caused by a series of physical injuries, many at the hands of doctors and bodyworkers. As an upshot, I have faced not only the fallout of chronic pain itself, but also the emotional trauma of turning to a healthcare system that often has proven to be more violent than caring.
What’s more, I have found myself coping with an onslaught of accusations: Most people have assumed that if I was having so many struggles, especially with the healthcare system (which we all know is there to help people, right?), the problem must lie in me — bad luck, bad karma, or a just a plain old bad attitude.
And so the past ten years have felt like an incessant avalanche crashing down on me. So many times when I scratched, clawed, and crawled my way out of the rubble, another outburst threw me back under it. The more trauma I went through, the more I found myself isolated — making the struggle that much harder:
Most people, I discovered, simply did not have the capacity to offer compassion and support for what I was enduring or accolades and encouragement for what I was overcoming. But a few people did — exceptional friends, family, and healthcare professionals. Their love, insight, and support helped me keep on keeping on.
As I trudged forward, I experienced bursts and spurts where I was able to heal myself. Each incident seemed too “out there” to be real, so I repeatedly chalked it up to coincidence. As the evidence in my personal life mounted, however, I came to trust that yes, I was in fact able to heal my own damn self — without any kind of medical degree or bodywork certificate, thank you very much.
Through this blog, I now share with the universe the story of my personal journey and the discoveries I have made along the way. I trust that the process will simultaneously offer you some tools for your own healing, while bringing me deeper into mine.
I pray that it also will create a virtual community for those of us honestly and courageously dancing with our pain, embracing the spectrum of emotions from rage and terror to determination and ecstasy.
I hope you enjoy my blog, and I welcome any comments and suggestions.
With love, light, and the spirit of dance,
January 13, 2008