Chronic Pain can quickly lead to depression when it seems like there’s no hope for a cure.

Disease is something that no one ever plans for or anticipates.

This journey has been a long one for me and for you, and unfortunately, it’s nowhere near over. Each day seems like a frustrating venture in the medical world where I am reminded just how little we truly know about some of the most prominent diseases. It’s easy to point out a healthy human and say that’s what good health looks like. It’s also fairly simple to point out a sick human and say something ain’t right. The issue is not in determining whether the person is sick or not, but rather figuring out what on earth is causing the body to be out of alignment, and a step even further than that, how to fix whatever’s wrong.

I have visited doctors of more practices than I can keep track of in just the past twelve months alone. I have felt like I was under interrogation with the rapid-fire questions spewed at me regarding my symptoms and pain. Every answer I give though, is typically followed by a look of confusion and a hmmph that gave me little-to-no hope that any doctor could have an answer for me. I should have expected it and yet was still caught by surprise time and time again when I only continued to receive more bad news or inconclusive lab work.

I’ve been dealing with the pain of some type of autoimmune disease, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, deteriorating discs in my lower spine and nothing to set my mind at ease that any of it will ever go away or get better.

All I know is: I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Those words echo on repeat in the back of my mind and even as I sit here thinking about my long battle with health issues, they still carry on.

The truth is, I’ve been stuck dealing with chronic pain and learning how to manage it on my own. The physical pain is unbearable at times, and the toll it takes on my emotions and mind are unmatched. For all of you out there battling chronic pain and illness… here are some things that I wish I had been told when I was first facing these painful symptoms, struggling to find answers, and feeling like little progress was being made.

As I know that we are all in different stages of our own diseases, I do believe that these ideas can apply to people with multiple different disorders, be it mental, autoimmune, reproductive, etc.

I wish I’d been told…

I am the light. Disease may run rampant inside of me and inside of you. There may be a looming darkness that thickens the air, but that does not mean I am the darkness. You see, darkness can happen around me, inside of me, and to me…but I am light. I am peace. I am joy. I may not have the ability to change what happens to me, but I have all of the control over how I respond, and I choose to respond with light. I choose to be light. I am the light.

I am strong. Sickness has a way of weakening multiple aspects of our humanness. Our disease may attack our physical body, but it can simultaneously weaken our mental, emotional, and spiritual state. These are the moments when we need that coach on the sidelines whooping and hollering telling us that we are strong enough to keep running, keep fighting, and ultimately win. Oftentimes, we get so sidetracked by the disease itself, that we allow our other health states to dwindle instead of continuing to care and nurture them too. Well, I am here, on your sidelines, yelling at you that you are strong. So, don’t quit just yet.

I’m not alone. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt so alone. My mind will go numb and I’ll feel like no one understands, no one can relate, and worst of all, that no one cares. It’s not true though. I was never alone and neither are you. There are so many of us women who care and who are in the same boat. This road is difficult; frustrating even, but you’re not alone. We are all in this together and we will raise awareness and someday find a cure.

There is hope. I do believe that without hope, people quickly lose focus of the direction they are heading in. Without this sense of forward motion, there is so much room for anxiety, worry and depression to take root and have their way with you. A disease without a cure is not a disease without hope. It simply means we get to be the ones to pave an easier way for those who will come after us. This about how many other illnesses caused pain and suffering prior to the discovery of its antibiotic or antidote, it did not mean there was no hope, it just meant the road would be a little longer, but also, the reward a little sweeter. So hang in there, because there is hope.

I’ve got this. Despite what you may believe: you’ve got this. You will fight this disease. You will overcome the pain and you will be stronger in the end. You will make it through, I know because I’m fighting to make it through too. Yes, the road is difficult, but together, we will fight and overcome. We’ve got this.

Remember to keep a positive outlook in each area of your life, but especially regarding your health because even though you may not have the power to change what happens to you, you do have control over how you respond and react. Positivity and hope go a long way in the healing process and enable you to focus your energy on getting well rather than allowing negativity to brew and contribute to your current state. Do not let chronic pain lead to depression, anxiety or fear. Find ways to manage the worst of it through diet, exercise and meditation.

It’s not the situation that’s causing your stress, it’s your thoughts, and you can change that right here and now. You can choose to be peaceful right here and now. Peace is a choice, and it has nothing to do with what other people do or think.

—Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD

I do not wish for this blog to reach you with a heavy heart, as I strongly believe that no doctor’s diagnosis has power over you, is the final answer, or cannot be overcome. This may be difficult to hear or believe as you battle your own disease and chronic pain, but we will get through this together. Do not suffer in silence any longer. Speak out about what you are experiencing and find comfort in knowing others feel and can relate to your pain.

We would love for you to share your story with us and what you’ve found to be helpful as you battle chronic pain…feel free to email us or connect on social media! We are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

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