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This is a post about chronic pain. I have it. I bet a lot of you do too. Some of us talk about it. Others are afraid to, as it could cost them their jobs or their relationships or their sense of control in a chaotic world. In this way it’s very analogous to sexual trauma. There is also (as @ladygaga so wisely shared this week) a proven connection between chronic pain and trauma. Therefore, a lot of people- a lot of women- find their pain is activated by weeks like this one. On the day after Dr. Ford’s testimony I awoke with a start at 3am. It felt like every cell in my neck was singing. My ankles and wrists were weak and my fingers didn’t do their assigned job. Yesterday I felt like I was suspended in gel, and when I meditated a line of pain zipped from my neck to my foot. I’m sorry if I don’t answer your text or email, or if I can’t show up the way someone else would. I appear to be totally able bodied but it’s complex, and I am just trying to do everything required to maintain a life of joy and service. My work costs everything I have. This is fibromyalgia. It’s little understood and so even though I have a lot of knowledge and support it’s hard to shake the feeling I am crazy. But I’m not (at least not this way!) and you’re not. Your pain, whatever shape it takes, is yours and so it is real. I believe you when you say you hurt. I have learned time and time again how important it is to believe.
On the left: 138 pounds, complimented all day and propositioned by men and on the cover of a tabloid about diets that work. Also, sick in the tissue and in the head and subsisting only on small amounts of sugar, tons of caffeine and a purse pharmacy. On the right: 162 pounds, happy joyous & free, complimented only by people that matter for reasons that matter, subsisting on a steady flow of fun/healthy snacks and apps and entrees, strong from lifting dogs and spirits. Even this OG body positivity warrior sometimes looks at the left picture longingly, until I remember the impossible pain that brought me there and onto my proverbial knees. As I type I can feel my back fat rolling up under my shoulder blades. I lean in.