Never mind searching for who you were. Search for the person you aspire to be. – Robert Brault
Before pain, my aspirations for MYSELF were much different. I always knew that I wanted to be a Mother and a Wife. I knew that I wanted stability and success, but HOW that was to happen and WHO I aspired to be inside somehow changed when the pain seeped in. I prided myself on certain attributes that were robbed from me when I lost my health. And I think like many people who suffer from chronic pain, all of my personal wishes and dreams fell apart.
I have had to battle chronic illness for most of my life. I do not just have one affliction, I have many. In late 2006 when my life completely fell apart, I was set upon a journey to find a “diagnosis”, and because of my previous health complications, it was almost impossible for the medical world to differentiate where one “pain” ended and another one “began”…. It was like putting together a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle, when ALL the pieces were the same color….. black…. It wasn’t like we could find the color of the “border” of the puzzle and start from there, working out way into the middle…. there were thousands of pieces looking exactly the same…. and with one arm tied behind my back, I set out to put the puzzle together.
Emdometriosis….. Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome…… Severe Myofascial Disorder, Myofasciatis….. Severe Fibromyalgia….. Unclassified Nerve Pain….. Congenital Heart Disease……. TMJD…….. CFS……. Chronic Migraines……. SI Joint Disfunction……. the list went on and on and on an on….. One diagnosis bled into the other….. One Doctor’s appointment a week turned into three or four appointments a week…… One specialist turned into a multitude of white coats that completely overwhelmed me……
or fighting pain….
or explaining pain…..
or hiding from pain…..
or masking pain….
This all became my life……
And I lost myself.
I completely lost ME.
I spent the first 3 years of this journey looking BEHIND me…. I was trying to figure out how all this happened?!? If I could ONLY just find that one missing piece to the puzzle, then maybe… JUST MAYBE I could figure out how I got here, and HOW to get back to where I was!! I needed to make SENSE of all of this, and the further the journey led me from where I was, the more I would panic, because all I really wanted was my life BACK… I wanted my life to be the way it was the DAY before my life fell apart. I didn’t want to move forward…. by doing so I thought that I would forget the person I knew I once was.
4 years later, I am in a much different place than I used to be. My body holds NO memory of what it was like not to feel pain. I honestly don’t remember. I held on to those memories of pain-free days for as long as I could, but it prevented me from accepting that I might never experience that again in my life. For as much as anyone can accept that they will live their life in pain, I accept that this is my journey. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my bad days…. I still pound my fists and say “Why me!”…. and I still sometimes go searching for that missing puzzle piece. But all in all, I have learned that I am no LESS… I simply different.
I grieved hard over what “once was”, and with that I wiped the slate clean, aspirations and all. And now I no longer have to search for what once WAS….. I now only have to look towards what WILL BE.
I lost ME…. and in doing so, I believe I found a BETTER ME.
I now know who I AM…. And now I only have to search for who I WILL BE.