Shortly after the onset of my headache depression hit me hard, and I continued to suffer from severe depression for years. I couldn’t cope with the pain and the way it made me feel all the time; miserable, angry, bitter, lost, pretty much every negative feeling out there I was feeling it at full force. For a long time I coped with my pain through self-harm, it was my coping mechanism, however not a good one. After a while I just didn’t want to live anymore, I saw no future for myself but pain and misery, I didn’t think there was any other way, so I tried to kill myself and got close to succeeding.
It’s only been in the past year that have discovered that there is another way, happiness can be found despite pain, my life can have meaning, I can achieve things and more importantly I can live despite pain and be okay with it. The path wasn’t easy, it had many bumps in the road and still does, but I believe the first step is making the decision you want to feel better. Because before I don’t think I really wanted to get better emotionally, it was easier to let the depression consume me but I didn’t know there was a way out.
The most successful therapy I’ve had has been ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, geared towards pain management of the natural kind; no medications. It was a hard road and in the beginning it all sounded like nonsense, I thought it was stupid and impossible that anyone could accept their chronic pain, be okay despite pain and live a happy and full life despite pain. Eventually it was like a switch in my head had turned and I understood it and wanted to work towards accepting my pain and feeling better. That was the turning point for me, and I worked my ass off to get there. I will admit to falling off the wagon briefly, however that is because I decided to take on the world and had stopped all my pain management techniques. I eventually got back there though, all be it I needed a bit of help along the way.
Now feeling pretty okay again the majority of the time, have bad days now and again, the majority of which revolve around the pain being bad.
I may never recover from chronic pain, I will probably always have a headache, but that’s okay because I can cope, I can still achieve things and more importantly I can be happy despite pain.
Some days are bad, but most are good despite pain.
If you’re reading this and you suffer from chronic pain and you think I’m completely crazy and what I’m saying doesn’t sound possible. I want you to know that that’s okay, because I use to think it was crazy and impossible too. But I do want you to know that it’s not, it is possible, it is achievable, and I hope one day you may get to this place too, but I am always here for you whenever, through the good, the bad and the ugly.
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