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Facing the dragon

It is the loneliness in the night when the pain keeps me awake that can be overwhelming. I tell myself I am, I am here. To get up in the morning can be scary; so much to lose and so much to gain. I live with pain. It is my  companion; my monster under the bed; in the closet; in the gym; my fire breathing Dragon.

Fear is part of the human condition. In order to achieve anything, we must be willing to be uncomfortable, to face the unknown. Some people are able to overcome fear by facing it and some people make it grow by ignoring it. Pain can create fear.  What is wrong?  Why me? These are normal questions when presented with barriers and obstacles but when it is pain, our most primal instincts are engaged.

How do I face my Dragon every morning? I face it with my morning breath. My Dragon is unpredictable, stealthy, and sneaky. What are my weapons? First, my breath – – fear takes your breath away, so I become the master of my own breath. Second, my mind attention – – to be present in each moment allows me to be flexible, resilient, and aware. These two work together– through my breath, I am able to be more present.  When I face my dragon (pain), it becomes smaller.  When I  try to ignore it I find that it grows. Third is to reach out for support and to give support to others as I can.  Fourth is to take action that engages my passion, my purpose, or creativity despite the pain–call a friend, write a post, do some stretching, volunteer, meditate, garden, sit in my garden, or work on Thriving with Pain. Through these weapons I have found a way to accept what my life is, moment by moment.

This acceptance has improved my pain. I am much better now than 5 years ago, better than a year ago. Through facing my dragon and using all of my arsenal I have gone from ow to wow in my own life. I have been blessed to have incredible friends, to have found wonderful health care providers, and to find work that is meaningful and flexible. My knowledge that I had before my accident about healing and the body through my massage practice helped me but I now realize that  I knew so little about what it actually feels like to live with chronic pain and to heal.  I am grateful that I can now support others on their journey!