I Am Not My Pain


A deeper layer of my pain body has come to visit me yet again yesterday.

Part of my journey has been to learn how to exercise again, and not have this healthy stimulation elicit a trauma response. Roughly 5 years ago I came to the decision to finally listen to the pain in my body and I took a break from all strenuous activities. I had gotten to the point that I would cry myself to sleep at night and wake up in tears from the pain and burning sensations that I felt in my body. I was so stiff that it would sometimes take my breath away to even move.  The simplest activities like house work or lifting a water bottle onto the water cooler was too much most days. The only exercise that I did for a couple of years was to just walk. Walking felt good and it helped lift my mood.

My emotional pain was locked underneath all of the physical injuries and traumas that my body had endured. I was in a constant trauma state and so physical healing was not occurring. My body was in a serious crisis.  I had also become intolerant to a lot of things in the world around me. The pain and inflammation in my body was being exacerbated  from my reactions to the food I was eating, the environment around me, and the energies of others that were constantly bombarding me. I had very little filter or boundaries to the world around me. I did not understand yet that I had the power to say no to what entered into my space.

I completely changed my diet, no gluten, dairy, corn, soy or nightshades for a couple of years. I still mostly eat like this today but not as strict as I once was. I did many alternative therapies to bring my body back into balance emotionally, energetically, and physically. I just kept trying one thing after the other, inching closer and closer to wholeness. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I had thought that I had jumped off the cliff into a deep dark abyss that I would never come back from! There were times when it took a month to get myself back from the trembling psychotic state that I felt like I was in. There just was no other option to me other than to just keep going.

Next I began to incorporate yoga into my life. I kept my practice to a gentle meditative form of yoga, and my body cautiously began to open and unravel. Some classes I still pushed myself too hard and I have since learned how to find that place of stillness in each posture, and not push myself into pain which was one of my patterns. A few years ago my body was feeling better so I wanted to start working out again and building back up my strength and endurance. I found again that I had to stop. I discovered that when my heart rate would be elevated, the next day I would feel like I had been run over by a bus even though I was very careful and gentle. I would feel so stiff, sore and utterly fatigued. I had hardly done anything! The emotions of frustration, depression, and worthlessness would appear as well. My mood would plummet. My nervous system interpreted all sensations as danger! I would sometimes feel like I had reverted back to a child.

I continued to work with many different type of therapists, and I learned how to be more grounded and present in my body with healthy boundaries. My nervous system began to recognize pleasant, safe healthy stimulation from that which would harm me. I began to feel safer in the world. I unwrapped layer by layer of pain until I got to the core of my trauma symptoms buried deep in my pelvis. A big shift occurred and when I tried again to exercise about a year ago, I was ecstatic at the difference I felt. For the first time that I can remember, I felt so energized and alive. My muscles felt awesome and strong. This is what you are supposed to feel like after you exercise, I proclaimed in joy!! I honor and respect where my body is and I know when to stop and what my limits are.  I am still strengthening and repair old injuries. There is such a freedom that comes with movement and I am opening into it at my body’s pace.

In January I also noticed that another shift had occurred in my energy field, and I was no longer living in a post traumatic stress disorder state. I have begun to really feel at home in my body and not as easily attach to the sensations or emotions that I am feeling as being who I am. This brings me to yesterday and something that I have been observing in my body during yoga for the past couple of weeks. I have noticed that my quad muscles are becoming unhappy and if I hold a asana a little too long and I become nauseous for a couple of hours afterwards. It’s like a deep trauma memory stored in the cells is being stirred up as I work to strengthen them, and they are fighting back. On Monday I tried a new class at the gym which was too intense for me at the time. Yesterday I felted the old sensations flood back into me like I had been in the fight of my life. The pain, fatigue, anger, hating my body, why the hell is this happening again?!

It took me the day to work through what my body was speaking to me and I’m still sitting with it, but I woke up this morning in a peaceful place. My body is still sore but that is ok. I had to come to accept that is was needed for me to sleep in the afternoon for an hour, and I didn’t need to feel guilty or weak about it. These sensations I was feeling where not typical for me anymore so I took the time to sit down and listen to my body. I stopped judging it, blaming it and found the place in myself again where the week before I held such gratitude and love for my body. I recognized that part of the reason I am so careful and put limits on what I do is because I am still in fear of feeling that physical pain in my body again. I was partially associating that pain to who I was as that was my identity for so long. It was like neon lights flashing from every cell of my being… Pain, pain, pain. I am Pain!

I changed my question to my body from why why why…(because in asking, I was just yelling at it and not waiting for a response anyways) to what do you need from me? I learned a few things that I was not being truthful to myself about. My body needs more water and I need to tweak my diet again as I am showing signs of being too acidic. I acknowledge and understand that I need more rest right now. I have been telling myself that there should be no reason why I don’t have more energy, I need to be doing more, getting on with my life ect. but in reality, these last 4 months have been the first time I have allowed myself to just be. I have been able to release many deeply held tears and have been riding wave after wave of emotions as I make space for what I am going to create next. I am right where I did to be right now. I need to ease up on the demands I have for myself.

I had to bring myself back to remember again in a time of great physical pain, that I am not my pain. I release my grip that I have so tightly held on pain. I am able to move once again in this knowledge.

I drew this card yesterday morning and it was the hardest thing for me to do with how I was feeling;  today I understand.



2 thoughts on “I Am Not My Pain

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