I experience pain in different ways and as a result of several different conditions. I am sensitive to pain killers and anaesthetic so pain is also often part of my life when dealing with infections or minor procedures such as dental work where other people could medicate it. My relationship with chronic pain started at 13 with menstruation - I now know I was dealing with endometriosis and adenomyosis, and profoundly deepened at 19 when I developed fibromyalgia. At times I have been house or bed-bound, needed a wheelchair or electric scooter to move around outside the home, and I have wrestled with major challenges such as navigating university and homelessness when the assumption is that if you have a disability someone else will look after you.
Chronic pain was devastating to my life. It was poorly understood by others. I became extremely dissociative to manage it, which took many years and different specialists to identify and correctly diagnose. I have learned a great deal about working with pain and now use a range of tools to approach it, and sometimes teach these to others in talks and workshops. The entwining of physical and psychological pain, physical and emotional health, have been essential areas for me to explore to restore health and hope in my life. It was an incredibly long, hard road and suicide and loneliness were chronic struggles for me for many years.
I currently deal with (for me) fairly low to moderate levels of pain with occasional flares. I am working full time and Mum to a 9 month old and a teen so life is full and busy. I'm glad I have developed the strategies, learned the approaches that work for me, and found the supports that I need to be able to participate fully in such a demanding and wonderful life! I am still learning more and discovering new ideas and techniques all the time about reducing the destructive impact of chronic pain in my life. It's an ongoing quest.