I have had many years of pain in my life. Constant pain. 10 years of that. It is very difficult to understand the outside world when your body is screaming in your ears. You just don’t have much bandwidth to focus on other stuff, like study or your lover or even your children. But 10 years is a long time. And I managed to complete a masters, a PHD, a divorce, an abusive relationship, a conflict-ridden job, and a relocation, while in constant pain.
I am now pretty pain-free :))) Over the last 5 years, I have gone from constant pain to regular crises, some of which really bad, then moved onto sporadic crisis and now my pain is more of a manageable discomfort every so often, which I manage in the middle of a very demanding travel-ridden job.
In this blog, I will explain how I did it, how I got rid of pain, and how I think you can do it too.
First I walk you through my mental stages.
Stage 1 – Acceptance:
For the first 4 years, I did what society told me to: go to the doctor, take whatever he says, suck it up, and continue operating. I would go to work on crutches, do 8 hours of that, take a taxi to my masters, do 3 hours of that, go home where my very loving husband cooked while I studied until bed time. I delegated the responsibility for my health on my doctor and on the system and I did my best to remain productive. Because I was stronger than my pain. WRONG!! I am stronger than my pain, yes. But pain exists for a reason. It is telling you something in your life/body needs mending. You gotta listen, you gotta care.
Stage 2 – Action:
I started looking for options. I saw everyone possible over several years: orthopaedists, osteopaths, chiropractors, homoeopaths, Chinese medicine doctors, Thai medicine doctors, Thai massage, deep tissue massage, Ayurvedic medicine doctors, psychologists, podologists, ophthalmologists, dentists, orthodontists, Alexander technique teachers, pilates, yoga, physiotherapists, Shamanic doctors, meditation, self-hypnosis, you name it. I will be giving my assessment of how these different techniques can help in a future post. Each helped a little but none helped enough. I was still delegating, you see.
I still see some of these people. But only when I feel there is something I cannot do myself.
Stage 3 – Step 1 – Believe:
Stage 3 could be called Step 1. Believe you deserve to be pain free. Intimately. A priest opened this gate for me. A Greek Orthodox priest whose eyes were full of love for all the people in his church. PS I am not Greek Orthodox or Orthodox at all, but I was going to this church because its two priests cared. His sermon was like this:
“The devil has two ways of tricking us into sin”. At this I cringed: devil? Give me a break! But then I thought, listen listen Ana, it’s a metaphor for deeper meaning, try and grasp. “First, before you sin, he tells you the sin you’re considering is not that bad, look at all these mitigating circumstances, this and that and the other, surely you deserve this little side-step. And you go ahead and you sin. Then his second strategy is even crueller. He says that now that you have sinned you no longer belong in the group of righteous people, you are an outcast, a sinner, you only belong with other sinners, you can only go on sinning. But this is not true! If you look at every single saint of the orthodox faith, every single one of them, except Virgin Mary and Christ themselves, were terrible sinners: from murderers to prostitutes to torturers, all of them. All it took for them to free themselves was self-forgiveness and a decision to not go on in their sins. God’s love is incommensurable and welcomes all”.
This was truly ground-breaking for me! Until then, I felt guilt. I felt I had not protected my husband enough, I felt I had let him down mortally, I felt I had chosen myself over us, I felt I had disappointed my father, who had passed away of lung cancer when I was 18, while we were just living the two of us, I felt I had not looked after him enough, I felt guilt for reasons that were only in my brain. And I felt I deserved the pain. I could not find a way past my pain because I intimately felt I deserved it! But if all saints had been sinners and found their way to sainthood, maybe I too deserved to forgive myself for my wrongs. Really forgive myself. We are all humans, doing our best. Sometimes our very best is not good enough and shit happens anyway. But it was our best then. And it’s OK to make mistakes. Everyone does. Only God doesn’t. If you expect perfection of yourself, you are being unreasonable, immodest, you are putting yourself at the height of God!! No. You made a mistake, it’s fine, shit happens, just be better now. Over the next few days, mind boiling, I repeated to myself how I too deserved the light. And all of a sudden paths for permanent healing started emerging from all around! They were there all along, but I had been blind to them! Now that I felt I deserved them, they started popping from everywhere!
Step 4 – Self-healing:
I went to a new therapist, a chiropractor. Until then I had been seeing the same osteopath for years but over the last few months I had become bed ridden every two-three weeks. He had managed to get me better, but soon I’d be bed ridden again. It was high time to see if someone else could help. Chiropractors are not the best healers, I find, their clickings of your body are even faster to reverse than osteopaths’. But a good chiropractor gives an excellent, the best actually, diagnostic of your posture. He analysed me thoroughly and concluded: your body is doing ok actually but you have major major issues in your jaw. My jaw?!!! That doesn’t even hurt! Eventually, he clicked my jaw. And I realised some crowns I had put a couple of years before in my left back teeth were too high and my jaw had adapted around it and was closing crooked! I went to the dentist the same day and he reduced the size of my crowns and my bed-ridding every 2-3 weeks crisis ended entirely! Low back / hip crises! Gone!
This was 4 years ago. Since then I have been working on my tooth/mouth symmetry. I am almost almost cured.
More on this to come.