I’ve found it hard to start writing today. Procrastinating, avoiding… this blog has been such a source of comfort and support and today’s post feels a bit like a goodbye. It’s not, I’ll keep writing, but I’m getting further and further into the light…there is so much to see here that more often this blog is a treat, rather than a necessity for me now…
credit: David Butali on Flickr
and breath and back up…this blog is basically a journal of my story so far. It does not tell it all, nothing can ever show all of something, but is a record of this time in my life… this post is a summary of where I came from and where I am now.
All my life I have been angry. Inexplicably furious, with my family, friends and most especially with myself. It tore through me, ripped at my heart and gauged out my eyes. Frustration is my best friend and constant companion. The world was confusing and scary. I saw things, I missed things, partial sentences a….the school……the ste….day…..away with the fa….what? WHAT WAS GOING ON?! I became the world’s best ‘Coper’ I hid my confusion, covered it up with lies, false smiles and forced concentration. I became so good at being un-confusable that even I stopped being able to tell it was a lie. I lied till I no longer knew my own truth.I held back as much anger as I could, often it boiled over leaving a trail of smashed plates and butter-dishes, dripping in shame and guilt. I sucked my thumb, I got blinding headaches and night-cramps. I curled up in bed and screamed silently into my pillow. I was fine. I was FURIOUS.
At 15years old, I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Things made sense. I simply had to take my ‘coping strategies’ up a notch and I was fine. I was still furious. But fine. I changed schools several times. When I left school at 18yrs the first pains started. A ‘neck spasm’, back ache, a ‘bad-position’. Slowly these ‘pains’ became more frequent. At 22, I’d had to leave to university places due to epilepsy related events, the pain got worse. About once a month my back would ‘go’. I’d have to take a week out. I started seeing Doctors. A few years later I was involved in an employment discrimination case. My Epilepsy became MUCH worse. Six months after this my back pain became disabling and chronic. That was a year ago now. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t move. Scribbled on the top of a notebook dated 13/2/13 I wrote Please Please Please let me be able to hug my husband tonight…hugs where too painful… It is good to remember and write about this, it humbles me and reminds me of my strength. I started trawling the Doctors again. Drugs, epidural s and possible surgery where all on the cards. Slipped & herniated discs diagnosed. Endless physiotherapy giving only temporary relief. For months it continued. I was forced to leave a job I loved….days turned to weeks and weeks into months where I barely moved. Half my family live on the other side of the world in Colombia, a Dr told me long-haul flights where out of the question. I honestly thought I would never be able to visit them again. I lost my trust in Doctors & surgeons. I started my own research….
I found Liz Koch & Dr. Sarno, I learnt about TMS, I found Georgie Oldfield and slowly, very, very, exceptionally slowly I began to get better. It started with walking, just up stairs on my own to begin with. Standing in a shower on my own, doing the washing up, things I’d once taken fore-granted, chores became my daily achievements, my joy, my adrenaline-rushes. I started to learn about Mindfullness and Meditation and as I learnt I healed. I took less medication, for both pain and epilespy, I began to believe I could heal. I began to understand what living-in-gratitude really means. I started a gratitude-practice. I transformed my life, from the bottom up. I moved house, I changed my priorities and focused whole-heartedly on a holistic vision of what it means to be healthy in every aspect of my existence.
Credit: Monique Willemsen
A year on from finding out about TMS and I have just returned from a trip to Colombia to see my family… This trip involved, jet-lag, walking, carrying, hiking, immense heat, altitude, sitting down for long-haul flights, 24hour journeys, dubious foods, a language barrier and medicinal differences. It is one of the biggest achievements of my life.
Me in a hammock. Sitting in a totally ‘bad-for-you-pose’ loving my Coconut!
Following my husband Backpacking with Las Sierra Nevada in the distance. Flip flops, ruck sack, MASSIVE SMILE
Me walking alone along the soft sand beach in Colombia looking for Coconuts & shells
It was not entirely pain free and as I type I have some sciatica, but I am working on it. I believe in my ability to heal now. I never thought I’d be one of those people on TMS forums posting success stories, but here it is! If you are reading this and have chronic pain, I want to say to you even when it seems impossible, even when you are TOLD it is impossible, it is not. I’m the proof. I’m grateful for the opportunity TMS has given me to learn about my body, for the chance I’ve had to change my life and I am confident I will continue with more health and happiness than ever before. Thank you for all your support. One Love.
Happy with my shell and my life!