There are so many lessons to be learned as well as challenges to face with chronic pain issues. Before we enter into chronic pain issues, we travel through life encountering one or two issues at a time, focusing our attention on resolving those issues, resolving them, and then moving on with the business of living until other challenges arise.
In the business of regular living, there is an ebb and flow to issues and challenges and for most people, there are periods of lull and rest where you can recuperate from the energy and emotions expended on resolving issues. As years pass, you get very accustomed to the cycle and during stressful periods even give yourself some relief by reminding yourself that these things will pass as do all other things.
Chronic pain deeply alters those cycles. As physical issues proceed and/or conditions deteriorate, the whole cycle intensifies and shortens until there are fewer and fewer and then no rest cycle to which we have become accustomed to rejuvenate ourselves. Sometimes, I think this is the hardest part of dealing with chronic pain ~ the moments of being pain free (to the degree that you don’t think about being in pain) drifts further and further apart like an elusive phantom being chased by a modern day ghost hunter.
Yet this phantom of living pain free can become our obsession. We spend so much time and money chasing it that we often increase our own pain with this effort until it becomes a Catch 22 or “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. What if that one thing (no matter how crazy) was the one thing that would have worked?
Well meaning and loving people will give you a million suggestions for pain relief. They don’t want to see you in pain. They want your attention and focus back on living. They don’t want to be reminded that they might one day be in a situation where nothing really helps them deal with pain or some other situation. People with chronic pain issues want this, too.
When you are involved in the Wiccan and Pagan Community, those helpful suggestions and intentions are three-fold in volume with the expansive alternative and holistic approaches.
We light the candles.
We burn the incense and smell the aromas.
We rub oils and ointments.
We reiki ourselves until we know the techniques better than some masters.
We ask for healing energies although we feel embarrassed to do so.
We drink the teas and then change the teas and drink them more.
We take the vitamins, minerals, and supplements.
We go to pain management and take the medicine and cope with side effects.
We get the painful shots in our spines and joints.
We pray to the Gods and speak with our spirits.
We often get temporary relief from this, but it rarely “fixes” chronic pain issues. If most of them were fixable, then we wouldn’t have chronic pain issues.
In my personal case, my spine is degenerating from a car accident I was in over 30 years ago. The process has been slow and is a result of wear and tear from daily living on damaged vertebrae. My spine is deteriorating and unless there is a remedy to entirely rebuild and/or replace my spine, I will be facing chronic pain issues for the rest of my life.
In addition, I went through the windshield during the accident and over time, again from wear and tear of daily living on my neuro system, I am having degenerative issues. Unless my nervous system can be replaced, I will be facing chronic pain issues for the rest of my life.
I am not angry and I am not depressed. I am blessed. After the accident, I was told that if I bore a child, my back would be so injured from the process that I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I have given birth to three children (along with two stepchildren) and I continued to walk and carry them on my hip as infants and youngsters. I have never allowed the potential of my injury to hinder me from living my life.
I was also told that I would require intensive spinal surgery before I turned thirty. I am now 50 and am now being told that the odds are far more against me that I will be able to walk again or have feeling below the waist if I have this fancy surgery. Again, I make my choice to walk and to feel rather than choosing to a pain free life.
I’ve had far more time living an active life than I was ever told I would enjoy. I’ve had children and a wonderful husband. I’ve danced in the moonlight around bonfires. I’ve managed to stay on my feet until my youngest child has reached an age where he is turning to his father and budding manhood. I feel like I have missed nothing in my life and have enjoyed every aspect in my 50 years to this point that I would have wanted out of an entire lifetime.
I have been and I am blessed. I’m just in pain now and it’s going to get worse as I get older although I’m not willing to accept the full negative future predicted by doctors. I didn’t accept it before and I have no intention of accepting it again. I intend to do as I have done before, living my life to the fullest that I can without accepting their perceived limitations of how I should be living my life.
The Goddess isn’t punishing me for anything. I am not suffering any special karma or karmic result of my actions towards anyone. No one has cast a spell that was effective enough to make this happen. No magickal working has backfired on me to cause this situation.
I am not being punished, I am being blessed by the Goddess. Imagine the life I would have had if it had not been for Her blessings and the strength She has given to me. I never would have had children. I would have had unnecessary surgeries and quite possible be a complete invalid at this point if I was still living. She has allowed me to travel beyond my years and my physical abilities to support and love my family, my friends, and the Community these many, many years.
I am blessed, BUT now that my medical conditions and chronic pain issues have come to the point of where it is too difficult to continue with things I have done all my life, I now am a little lost as what to do and where to go now.
I can let go of the past. I don’t have a psychological need to be who I was and do the same things I used to do. I have had a blessed life and have done all the things I wanted to do. There is nothing I regret having not done yet. I have no issue redefining my life and actually, I’m rather good at redefining my life and being open to new directions. I just don’t know where to go or what to do now.
So, for now, I continue to walk on the foggy road knowing I am blessed.