This is going to go beyond my levels of comfort and into some rather personal things. It is my true hope, that someone reading this will connect on any level and become inspired to try their best to make the best of what we have. Even if it is limited, it is all a gift. Please leave all negative comments to these personal matters to yourself. This is my attempt at inspiration and I do not need any more negativity in my life, trust me.
I have been blogging on WordPress for a little over 2 years now, Steemit and ComplexTruths became other platforms for my inspiration project within the past year and I try to post on all 3 for my 365 day challenge. Steemit is still something I am learning about and hoping someday I can understand how it works. ComplexTruths is an amazing website that is dedicated to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and it's Complex Truths. #CRPS1Name https://complextruths.org/
I have kept a lot of personal things away from my blogs because I want to avoid any additional negativity possible and quite honestly, people can be cruel. I also, truly prefer to focus on the positives in life.
However, I have had one hell of a week so far. Started crying a lot, over anything and everything. I curled up on the couch and watched some inspiring videos on YouTube to perk up yesterday. I wish I had something like YouTube when I was growing up and learning how to handle everything.
Sharing my journey of chronic pain with CRPS, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, herniated discs and pinched nerves, while still trying to make the best out of each day is an attempt to be an inspiration to someone. Either in chronic pain, or just sad/stressed about life. If I can smile and try to be positive with the pain I am in, then I hope everyone thinks they can try to.
What I try to leave out though, is that I do have history with OCD, Manic Depression, Anxiety, BPD and Agoraphobia. I focus on my positive thoughts and energy because it is how I have managed to overcome a lot of my mental health problems. Neuroplasticity and Mindful Based Stress Reduction have dramatically changed my life. After reading this entry, you will have a better understanding for how much emphasis that last sentence needs. I won't go into the nitty gritty details, but this needs to be shared. There is hope.
So, CRPS- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is rated 42 out of 50 on the McGill Pain Index (created at McGill University). The pain is recorded higher than childbirth, amputation of digit, non terminal cancer and anything else you can think of. With no cure. Only treatments that could possibly help or possibly make you worse. This alone is enough to drive anyone insane. It's really incredibly stressful to live with.
Bad thing is: stress is one of the things that triggers CRPS pain. It causes nerve damage and many other damages to a human body. Especially YEARS of stress.
This causes a lot of patients like myself, to be sad. Often times, depressed. Not like, 'Oh mom won't let me go see my friend, I hate the world' depressed. I mean like 'Holy shit, there are STILL flames under my skin and I cannot make them stop, no matter how many things I try or how hard I wish it away. Not to mention the million other things that add up as a human being trying to live life with a defective body and brain" kind of depressed.
Another bad thing is: My emotional regulation/control is pretty much GONE because the damaged nerves that control it, along with my short term memory and every other thing your nerves control (YOUR LIFE), are being controlled by CRPS. That damned Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Noticing a circle here?
I should mention, I have had a Mental Health appointment booked for 10 months now and it is finally coming up. August 21. I decided back then that I truly wanted to become a part of the solution instead of the problem, I am making my small steps towards helping. 10 months for a Mental Health appointment is dangerous though. This is why health care is free in Canada. Just saying.
So before the chronic pain conditions, I had mental health issues for most of my life. I remember being 6 years old and worrying obsessively that my mother was going to get hurt, it even haunted my dreams. I remember telling her about it in my bedroom, she put our hands together, wiped my tears and told me not to be silly, she was fine and right beside me. It was comforting. But I didn't feel things were fine. I was worried and stressed, but I knew the conversation worried and stressed my mother out so I wasn't going to bring it up again. I started self harm at a young age in an attempt to deal with absurd and intense thinking that I didn't want to make anyone else uncomfortable with.
This was all back before Mental Health was discussed openly. There has always been some sort of stigma attached to the conversation, even now I am very uncomfortable with the previous paragraph. But this is important to discuss. Some mother has a child, or teenager, or some adult is reading this who can relate. I am truly hoping to inspire hope here.. back to the history..
When I was 12, my family and I moved from Nova Scotia to Florida and after turning 16, I was sent back to Nova Scotia on a greyhound bus with my sister in an attempt to save our lives. Many years later, I thank my mother from the bottom of my heart for that difficult decision of sending us home. She did save our lives.
When I was in Florida, I turned into what I would call a 'Wild Child'. I was honestly a little too far down my own spiral that I don't like to look back. I had sheets over my bedroom windows to darken the room (step one in feeling better is sunshine.. literally), I listened to Cradle of Filth, had star eyebrows and didn't have an eff to give.
I did. I truly truly did, but I didn't know it at the time.
I was into drugs and drinking. I went through sexual and domestic abuse during this time, I ran away from home multiple times to be with the new family of friends who allowed this behavior. I was a bad person who was trying to escape the reality and my own mind. I didn't know what to do. I wasn't trained to use my own powerful brain.
I felt I was alone in a way. I knew that I was not and I still had my mom, but I was already too far gone to appreciate it at the time. She told me a story the other day that has really sat heavy on my heart...
One day, I was between 13-15 years old, she heard R.E.M 'Everybody hurts' for the 100th time in the day. She knew on the other side of the door, I was melting in emotions. I was hurting and hurting bad. Because I always did at that time. I was hurting myself everyday. But we didn't have insurance when I lived in Florida, mental health still wasn't openly discussed, I didn't openly admit to anyone what I was doing. So we were at a loss. She decided enough was enough that day, but she did not know what to do. So she did the only thing she could: she opened the door, found me in the corner of a pitch black room, sat on the ground and cried with me. So I wasn't alone.
We started watching Ellen together for laughs everyday shortly after that, which was amazing therapy. My mom did the very best that she could given the time and my families limitations at the time in another country. I apologize and thank her everyday for the hell I put her through. "I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger".
A few weeks later, I was sent to a mental institution by my peer group counselor at school for attempted suicide. A few weeks after that, my mother sent me and my sister (Who was addicted to drugs and living on the other side of the state with her boyfriend) back to Nova Scotia on that greyhound bus so we could live with my aunt, uncle and 3 cousins while they sold our family business and moved back with us a few months later.
From Florida to Mt. Uniacke, Nova Scotia. No wonder I'm nucking futs <3
I graduated High School, had quite a few fun jobs, met a few jerks who taught me a lesson or two. I hurt myself often, from a young age until 2012. I stopped after making the hardest decision of my life. I had to terminate my only pregnancy. As someone who thought they were born to be a mother, this hurts. Still. They're birthday was supposed to be 2 days ahead of mine and they would be 6 this year. I never would have gotten married, got my house, my job or taken the journey to work that ruined my life and caused CRPS. I ruined my chance at being a natural mother and am reminded daily for my decisions. But I do not harm myself anymore. For the sake of being something to someone, and that someone being myself. I stopped.
I knew that there had to be a better way. I tried many many many medications. Countless hours of therapy, one on one or in group. I tried it all I thought. But what I didn't try, was counting on and liking myself. If everything else was not making a difference, I had to become the change I wanted to see in myself. I started thinking positively. Looking up positive quotes, comedy or happy animal videos. I would make an attempt to smile or laugh as often as possible, even when it is hard.
Growing up is hard. Living with emotions and circumstances without a manual is one of the most difficult challenges a person can overcome. Especially without amazingly inspiring internet content like YouTube, Podcasts and blogs.
Color therapy, nature therapy, Rescue remedy (natural remedy for anxiety and stress that consists of flower extracts) - works like a charm. Neuroplasticity and MBSR, life changers.
The most important thing:
You are not alone. I still curl up in a ball and cry quite often. Life keeps getting increasingly difficult with my body giving out on me the way it is. But I keep trying to make the best out of each moment. Take a few deep breaths and find a reason to appreciate the present moment, it is your gift.
Mental Health is going to be brought up a little bit more in my blogs from this point forward. I'm going to leave the past where it is, but I wanted to give you all a little bit of background behind why I think the way I do. Why I truly fight to make the current moment a positive one. Because I know how dark the negative ones can get..
We gotta rise above it, together we are stronger and for those who can't stand, I'm here for you for now. My ankles are LITERALLY turning into each other. My right arm is still useless. My spine and hips are ready to break down. But I'm still rising up above it. I'm still getting up out of bed everyday ready to face the challenges I know I will have, and with a smile on my face. The very best I can. I do it for myself, for others and for my 6 year old....
This entry is going to be as personal into my history as we get. If you or someone you know suffers from mental health, chronic pain issues or any type of battle, know you are not alone. But you are truly the only one who is strong enough to pull yourself through this journey. Be kind to your mind and your body <3
Please be kind in any comments too.. still nervous about sharing this all.
Positive thoughts for a positive day,
@ConquerCRPS on Instagram