So this past week has been both wonderful and brutal all in one go. This week was “supposed” to be just a wonderful one. Hahahahah. Ok, I'm done I'm sorry. I'm just cracking myself up with that fact that I still think I get to perfectly control how our lives unfold!
This past week I played big. I decided to share the story of my disorder in a very public and deeper way than I ever have before. And I was proud of myself in many ways. I was proud that I was gentle with myself in writing the at times incredibly difficult words to write, I was proud of myself for checking in with how it felt along the way, how I was doing, and I was hella proud that I got it done period.
After being so truthful in the Spotlight, I felt called to sit down today and write truthfully what else has been showing up for me in a major way this past week. And that is Pain. Not always a fun topic, but something that in one form or another is inevitable in our lives. Chronic Hives that for the life of me I cant seem to figure out, have been back for the past two months and I once again have been going through sleepless nights and literally itching most of the skin off of my body. So my normal every day chronic pain has been ratcheted up big time, and this past week I really hit my limit and was brought to my knees. Wednesday after a morning of usual medical care, but very unusual sobbing hysterically through it, I went off to my weekly therapist appointment and I laid it all out. God bless my therapist! I let myself fall apart and say out loud “I'm so tired of being in pain. Every time a wound heals I get so excited, only to wake up the next morning and skin is missing somewhere else.” The rollercoaster of emotions are exhausting and it feels like a ship with too many holes. Every time I plug one, another leak springs elsewhere and I'm tired of bailing the water out. My arms are sore, every muscle is fatigued, I don't want to do it anymore.
My fabulous therapist looked at me, as she does, and said “Corinne, you have no pain management plan. I know you have been resistant, but I think it is time for one.” And so I broke down again and got honest. We started to look at some of my fears surrounding taking pain medicine. I don't even take a Tylenol for pain, so I knew I had to start looking closer. Some fears were practical, I don't want to be a drugged zombie, I don't want to become dependent, and others ran deeper.
The thing is if I'm being completely honest, I feel shame surrounding taking the drugs. I think “Shouldn't I keep soldiering on without them, and if I was strong enough wouldn't I?” I realized a lot of my identity has been wrapped up in ‘I'm the tough as nails chick, white knuckle, zero pain management’ and that makes me “brave” and “strong” and “inspiring.” Sitting here today though there is a voice that says Fuck. That. Shit. Who are you living for and what are you really gaining by keeping that facade running? I get to decide to help myself and trust myself and take the damn meds every now and then and feel relief if I want to. I deserve that.
When I got home last Wednesday, my face round with that sexy puff of crying for an hour straight…I cried some more. Girl, you know how to party. Guys I know!
But there was some clarity in all the madness. I said "OK hives you're back, what are you trying to show me? And this is what I clearly heard in response.
They’re back one more time to teach me that I have permission to take something for my pain. That it is not weak, or failing, or numbing, or succumbing. It is instead, the choice of someone who truly loves themselves, will not let the little girl suffer in silence anymore, and who will start to take her life and her choices back.
I was then struck with the thought- “If I was a mom, and my kids needed me, and I knew by responsibly taking a pill on the challenging days, I had the chance to be more present in their lives, would I take it?” Hell. Yes. The answer was so clear. Sometimes it seems so much easier to make that choice when we are thinking of others and not ourselves. But I think the question we are all faced with in big and small ways every day is, in essence, what would someone who loves themselves do?
Someone who loves themselves would not choose suffering. They would reach out for the help in whatever form it takes. They would be kind, they would be forgiving, and they would trust themselves. “I am here, I see you, I will no longer desert you. I Trust you.”