Challenges in life are inevitable. How we handle those challenges is what determines our happiness.
Life is HEAVY. We are STRONG.
Life is HEAVY. We are STRONG.
It’s simple right? All I have to do is replace negative thoughts with a positive imagination. Dream, manifest, call for what I desire. If I have a positive attitude, envision a positive life, I can create one, right? If we’re capable of thoughts, we’re capable of hope. But what if I suffer from chronic pain?
Sometimes it seems impossible. To envision a way out when life closes in. Feeling stuck, exhausted from pushing back. Walls that have proven unbreakable time and time again. Splattered with sweat, splashed with blood from the everlasting fight that is survival. I’ve been hopeful and I’ve been disappointed too many times to count. The higher the hopes, the further down I drop. Back into enclosed misery. How can I grasp hope without expectation? Maybe a positive outlook doesn’t rely on a specific event. Maybe my outcome comes from hope itself.
I was stuck in a hopeless cycle for 15 years. If you’ve read my back story, you’ll know I was suicidal from adolescence until about 22. I had no hope and no desires. I lived inside those red walls for so long, I became colorblind. Losing sight of an outside, I stopped fighting. If I hadn’t found out the medicine I was taking was the key locking me in that space, I could have stayed there forever. But it was that glimmer of hope, the possibility of a life beyond those walls, that lifted me out. It was having something to fight for. The possibility of a fulfilling life.
A LOT has happened since I found my way. They say the best views come from the toughest climbs. How far I’ve come is a meter I can rely on when things get tough. I gained the kind of strength that proves unstoppable. I find joy from each day. Satisfaction and purpose. Simply grateful to breathe outside those walls. But life hasn’t been easy since I grasped onto hope. It has, however, been a journey worth fighting for. I didn’t give up on hope when my brother died suddenly. I didn’t lose sight of creating a fulfilling life when my Papa died 3 months later or when my Dad dropped unconscious at dinner. I’ve been rattled, beat down, tested time and time again, but hope is what carries me through. My strength comes from my confidence that I will find a way forward.
Chronic pain has been my newest battle. A burden weighing down on me harder than ever the past few years. Once again, my fate feels out of my control. No matter how hard I push back, doctor after doctor, test after test, I’m left with no relief. Stuck again inside red walls.
For years I have suffered without answers, without much hope that I could find a path for recovery. I flipped to survival mode. Depression kicked in imagining a life where talking and eating became too painful, even impossible. I saw too many doctors who couldn’t help me. The idea of living in pain, adjusting and accepting that fate, is pretty hopeless whichever way you spin it. No one should have to suffer like that. It feels unfair, I get angry. Irritable and uncomfortable. But I didn’t stop fighting, because I knew what was waiting for me on the other side. I remember the power of hope. Hope provides the hammer to break down the walls that trap me.
Feeling hopeful, I turned to Reddit for more possibilities. Real people who have tried all sorts of treatments, hopeful to find any with success. That was how I found out about The Breathe Institute and Dr. Zaghi. From there I found Dr. Ratti Handa in Acton, MA who was able to start my process while I’m back East for the summer. Finally tests that provide relevant information. X-rays proving my pain. A visual representation of what I have been trying to spell out. People who understand what I’m going through and know what to do to help. With this hope, the pain doesn’t feel so consuming. There is an end to my pain in sight. A window to the room I’ve been trapped in. I can start by enjoying that view.
Pain is there to protect us. Our bodies’ way of communicating what needs attention. But pain should go away when tended to. Building strength through treatment. Providing growth. Moving past it. Keep your eyes open for a post on Myofunctional Therapy, Tongue-Ties and MY success story, because I truly believe it will be mine to tell soon. But for now, I have hope.
Lindsay Greenberg, providing perspective on how to live a magical life.