I thought I would share my personal journey through chronic pain in hopes that others might glean support during their challenges. I want to make it clear that I believe that when we face physical health opposition it is a direct result of a stifled spirit. I know many believe that it begins in the body and then fester into the spirit. My experience was exactly the opposite. The power of our beliefs is truly staggering and with a little elbow grease and great patience one can manifest a positive shift in ones own health.
Most if not all of my life I was the ‘fixer’. No one told me to take on that role and I was not always so great at it. I figured out very early on that if I could make others feel good then I would benefit from the end result. You see even as a child I suffered from headaches, stomach aches, IBS and other chronic ailments and I discovered that when I made others feel good my symptoms lessened.
During this process I lost myself. I became someone other than who I was meant to be. My saving grace was in the arts that were reflected in my family’s lifestyle. It was the one place were I could detach myself from others pain and breathe. I can look back now and appreciate the significance of those years. I honor all who played a role in my journey both positively and negatively. You see I weathered my storm.
I have never been one to take anything laying down right wrong of indifferent. As a matter of fact if you were to ask anyone who was a part of my life when I was a young mother, in reference to my chronic pain, they would no doubt look at you as though you had two heads. And frankly I probably would have as well. By now it was part of who I was, my comfort zone and I had no intentions of acknowledging it nor letting it go.
Now let me share with you a brief timeline. My first husband and myself lived in a small but adequate rental house. It was our first home together so we were inspired to make it our own. Not long after our move I gave birth to our first daughter, who by the way is now 30. The labor was exceptionally long and I was very nervous. Something during the experience triggered what I later found out to be Fibromyalgia.
Following her birth I can remember the very moment that I felt the initial pain between my shoulders. I was sitting on our couch in our basement. In that moment it was clear that my body was demanding to heal from the inside out or the challenges would become far greater as time went on, and they did. Of course I did not listen. I approached it in the same way as I always had as a survivor, you know… keep on keeping on.
Within 18 months another daughter was in our lives followed by yet another several years later. Unfortunately this period in my life culminated in divorce. I never shared with anyone what I was feeling. I suppose on some level, during that time, I believed that I deserved it. Sorry, can’t reference my past experiences without the victim talk.
As the years past the pain intensified. There were periods of week-long headaches, migraines, Myofascial pain, chronic fatigue and all the other junk that goes along with it. The pain was escalating and continued to plague my daily life. I dealt with it by self-medicating, soaking in hot baths and numbing my pain with ice packs. My body was mutinying against me while inside Jeannde was screaming to get out.
By now I had remarried and through my new husbands compassion and urging I finally sought out a physicians care. Fibromyalgia was the hot topic syndrome of the day and it was quickly determined that I was a classic case and therefore prescribed medications. I am not one for medication so I was determined to do something more. I went back to my roots, movement as a healing tool.
I had been teaching exercise through Parks and Rec in our area in those earlier years which I now believe helped me a great deal during the tough times. After some research I decided to dedicate myself to Pilates and became certified in both mat and apparatus.
Years later while I was teaching at a local Yoga Center, my then boss shared with me that she also had suffered with Fybromialgia but that she no longer did. And wouldn’t you know, my first thought was, ‘well she probably never had it in the first place or she was misdiagnosed. Everyone knows once you get it you have to live with it.’ Talk about judging someone. I learned later that she was right and I was wrong.
We later moved to another town. I needed to find a physician that specialized in Fibromyalgia and I did. On one of my regular visits to him I was experiencing one of my ‘myalgia bouts’. I came in with a baseball cap pulled down over my eyes; as usual I was hipper sensitive to many things like sound and fluorescent lights. He began by asking me the routine questions and I would answer in my usual style. He suddenly stopped, looked at me and exclaimed, “you don’t know what it is like to feel good do you?” Wow he was right. I did not understand what it was like. That turned out to be the best medicine that I had ever received and my quest began.
I continued my work in Pilates now specializing in chronic pain. Through my work I realized that movement played a significant role in controlling the pain but that the cause was unresolved. I began to question and study a variety of holistic techniques and subtly add them into my work. They became a part of my daily routine along with a healthy diet. Through dedication I began to experience faint shifts within myself.
I was more determined than ever to get off all medications and as a result slowly but surly the space between the ‘bouts’ grew smaller and smaller. I was beginning to discover what it felt like to feel good and in the process value what the ‘Being’ of me was all about. Somewhere along the way I found my voice. I realize that I no longer had to make others feel better at my expense. Enabling others was an addiction that helped me in perpetuating feeling bad about myself to the point of physical pain. It allowed me to remain a victim. It was time to let it all go!
A few months ago I was at a conference when a woman came up to me and asked how I was able to manage and finally release the burden of Fibromyalgia. I told her that I had found my voice. I learned that I had to be true to myself. My journey to date is in seeking greater understanding of what that means.
So will this work for everyone I don’t have the answer but I can tell you for certain it worked for me. In finding my voice I came out of isolation. That’s what chronic pain can do isolate through suffering. I also know that I have to keep vigil on my lifestyle in order to maintain my health. So, what is your belief about your physical pain? Do you know what it feels like to feel good? Does it have you or do you have it? And most importantly are you willing to look deep within to discover the depth of your Being? I can promise you this if you are courageous enough to try you will discover your purpose in this life and hopefully be inspired to share that journey with others and in so doing break the silence of isolation.
There are many who need the support of medications during their challenges. My point is that you also need to do the inside work. It will enhance the outcome no matter how high the stakes. I always tell my clients, don’t go around the obstacle go right through the middle it is the shortest distance to the end result. I also want to share the value of having the support of those around you. If I did not have the unwavering solace of my husband I believe that the pain would have beat me. He never once wavered from his tender support. He was there through some pretty rough times and getting well was my way of honoring his dedication.
I am now a Soulful Birth & Life Legacy Coach dedicated to ‘Generational Healing Through Shared Inner Wisdom. ‘ I am passionate about the healing ability that one’s voice can have on physical pain and the effect that it can play when we acknowledge our individualized beliefs in support of our uniqueness. Through personal healing we forge the path towards a healthy legacy.
To learn more about finding and sharing your voice visit
V.O.I.C.E , Voices Of Individual Creative Evolution • www.voice-1.jumpstartlifesjourney.org
Jumpstart Life’s Journey • www.jumpstartlifesjourney.org
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