We may feel like we have no control over how we deal with pain, when you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia it can certainly feel that way at times, what is the point in trying to get ourselves into a positive mindset if it makes no difference to our pain levels? They in turn have a negative impact on our mental wellbeing and it seems like a vicious circle, where all that is going to come to fruition is a heightened state of frustration and feeling of hopelessness.
What if I told you that by flicking the positivity/negativity switch to the positive position you could help turn down your pain dial?
If someone had tried to wave a stick of positivity at me when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I would have quite happily snatched it off them and hit them over the head with it! I was in pain, I was fatigued, I had a whole host of other symptoms and my prescriptive list of medications was growing by the day, some days walking to the loo was a struggle and I felt exactly like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, down and down this dark, dark hole knowing I was going to hit the bottom and having no clue how I would ever find my way back out again. Just like Alice, being diagnosed with a new chronic illness, portals you to a whole new world, a world where to thrive you must begin a strange journey and begin to look at things in a completely new way.
It took me a long time to begin my journey, three years from diagnosis to be precise, for three years I sat at the bottom of that hole, feeling sorry for myself, feeling angry, resentful and anxious, feeling envious of those still living their lives around me and grief, I was grieving for the life I used to have too. I was lucky enough to meet Mark and this glimmer, this wonderful chink of light was enough to make me get up and start to walk towards it, I wanted out and I was going to find that piece of EAT ME cake that would make me grow enough to do exactly that! If I can be someone else’s chink of light and show them the location of their EAT ME cake it will make writing these blogs so worthwhile.
When Mark first made the MCC products for me, I was dubious, I didn’t dare think that they could make a difference because the ‘what if?’ if they didn’t work was more overpowering than the ‘what if?’ if they did, it was at this point I had a lightbulb moment and realised that my default mode had been flicked to negativity and had been that way for a while, it was then I began my research into how my mindset was affecting my pain levels and the answers were shocking!
It soon became clear to me that if pain had a mind of its own, then so did I. The more I focused on the positives the more positive energy I created, and this seemed to be the best way to distract the pain, focusing on the feel of sun on my face, the newly crowned daffodil, laying my hand on a tree’s bark and wondering of the stories it could tell, all distracted my pain levels. Planting these seeds of positive feelings, I then worked on watering them, feeling grateful for the small things around me was working, even feeling grateful for the pain some days as without it I would not have taken that couple of hours rest and discovered a new book, a new band whose music I loved, I would not have researched food, caught up with an old friend …. The list is endless, I made sure that every time that the pain stopped me doing one thing, I enabled myself to do another, this way the pain could not win, the spotlight was off Mr Negativity and Mr Anxiety and like a phoenix rising from the ashes I would begin my next flare free day as a wiser, happier more positive person.
With my MCC Warrior Toolkit and my newfound attitude towards the pain, I was back in control, this was my EAT ME cake moment! Pain can teach us powerful lessons if we allow it to, it can teach us the importance of laughter, the importance of living, it can teach us how we can help ourselves and how we hurt ourselves, it can lead us to a path we would never have dreamed of following without it and find new passions, hopes, dreams and desires, it can lead to new friendships and highlight toxic, one-way ones too. Without my friend pain I would never have been able to help so many people and that is something that I am profoundly grateful for daily.
Being back in control of that positivity switch has put me back in control of my life and just like Alice said, it’s no use me going back to yesterday because I was a different person then.