Reading The Pain Away

My Mantra

My Mantra

I just read a wonderful post about why a woman chooses to read romance novels to get her through chronic pain. It moved me so deeply that I wrote the following comment in response. And I realized that this comment explains so much about me and who I am that I wanted to include it on my Passionately Written page. I want so much to tell my stories because I know somehow I will help someone else, as the writer of the linked post did for me. Please read her post as well:

And this was my response to her:

Wow, Elyse…it’s like you lived a chunk of my life. I was a competitive figure skater until I was 17 years old. At 16, I had yet another skating injury, wrist tendonitis, but it wasn’t going away. It then went to my left wrist, and over the next 4 months went throughout majour parts of my body. While this went on, I experienced head pains that would bring me to my knees. After giving up skating to concentrate on my last year of high school, the pains were unbearable and I did much of my schoolwork at home. Tests, pleading with doctors, being ignored, and the phrase that stuck with me the worst was “It’s all in your head.” Yes, that’s right. The headaches are in my head. Now if you could fix them and give me my young athletic body back, I’ll be happy to leave.

A rotten year later, I heard from a muffled unbelieving voice that I had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. My “old English” doctor didn’t believe it, and I left unfulfilled and questioning what it all meant. Within a month, a neurologist told me I had “common migraines” which are bad headaches every day. Medications came and went over the next several years, little relief, and ulcers became my painful friend in my stomach. Needless to say, I sucked up the pain, got a job in retail, and became an insufferable workaholic for the next decade.

Age 29, I got married, pregnant with my daughter, and learned that the pregnancy was not a fan of Fibromyalgia. Most wonderful, and yet painful time of my working life. My daughter is about to turn 13 years old in a week, and I have spent that last decade of her life in constant pain, limping, crippled up some days, and have now been diagnosed with my third type of migraine. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t love the strength this pain has given me to become the strong person I am, but I hate it for denying my daughter the pleasure of running, playing, and some days even hugging without discomfort.

I have led a great life up to today, and I wouldn’t change anything because of what I might lose if I did. I’m a divorced single mom who homeschools my daughter with epilepsy. But I have given my daughter the love of reading, books, and writing as well. The adventures through the words on a page can give you the intelligence, emotions, and strength to make it through another bout of pain or depression. It is in many ways a prescription that can be filled infinitely and used as often as possible. I thank the books that I read, the authors that I review for, and the blogs that I write that allow me to stay in the comfort of my home with pain and depression, but I can still make differences to my daughter and the people I connect with online. Never has reading and writing meant so much to me than now, when disability comes knocking but it doesn’t have to rule my every moment.

Thank you so much for this post. I think it’ll become a post of my writing blog. Much love and healing thoughts.

Do you have anyone you know dealing with chronic pain or any other chronic health problem? How do you deal with the stress, pain, depression, etc? What are your go-to distractions from what you are dealing with?

Let me know your thoughts of what is Passionately Written…