Pain Matters: Managing the ‘Why Me?’ Blues

vine growing up shady wall with green leaves, text over the top: pain matters: managing the why me? blues

Have ever had one of those days, when being grown up seems like more than you can bear?

When all of your healing, your self-development and spiritual work is not helping you?

Not only that but it feels like it’s hurting you because you aren’t seeing the message or the lesson in your chronic pain/broken leg/recurring depression?

It sounds like the ‘Why Me?’ Blues.

I mean come on, what happened? Did a star misalign? Were you unkind to a nun in a past life?

You are quietly minding your own business and then slowly (or suddenly) the body you’ve been living in stops doing what it’s always done.

And all hell breaks loose.

Why me? is a persistent but all too often unanswerable question.

But what happens when you’ve been good? I mean very, very good. You held open doors for people, said your prayers, ate your vegetables, stayed out of the sun and drank your kale. What then?

I used to scare people as I had always been ever-so good and done everything we are supposed to do to be well. Even when we’ve done all we can do, sometimes still there is more.

I don’t ask ‘why me?’ Instead, I ask, what can I do now? 

It’s impossible for me to fully and completely know why I became ill. I can look at histories and genetics, risk factors and possibilities, causes, ‘cures’ and conspiracies…if I choose to spend my energy that way. It can feel important, like taking action, hunting down the culprit, apportioning blame, pursuing justice.

Sometimes understanding can be key, sleuthing to find out the roots, so we can heal from the real struggles, not just symptoms.

But to me the most important question is not, how did I get here, but where do I go from here?

Me? I choose to use my “brokenness” to break boundaries, to blaze my own trail.

I’d love for you to join me…Turn Trailblazer today.

UPDATED Trailblazers’ Manifesto

Difficulties, diagnoses or disasters don’t have to stop you living your dreams.
Maybe your dreams need to shift,
(and we know it takes courage to reinvent dreams)
but the rewards are palpable and sweet.

You don’t have to be the misfit anymore, turn Trailblazer.
Every day that you make choices to support your sparkle,
from eating well to resting,
from choosing what works for you,
over what works for everyone else,
you are flying the flag for Trailblazers globally.

When autoimmune disease jumped up and my body began attacking itself I went renegade and decided my dreams were worth living.

If you don’t know how long you are going to live,
then it doesn’t really matter what you try.

I didn’t have a need to see the Great Wall or the Grand Canyon.
I didn’t think I’d regret having missed out on bar diving
and table dancing.

I wanted to record and share the healing journey –
– to send out Healing Boxes to people with chronic and serious illness.
– to sleep in the woods, under the stars – fears of snakes and insects notwithstanding.
Now you are part of it.

I believe women previously sidelined by loss, illness, trauma and struggle are an untapped force of potential. I believe we can rise together from marginalisation and each turn Trailblazer in our own lives.

A Trailblazer is empowered:
• She is taking charge of her healing.
• She is at the wheel of her life, making decisions, informed choices and taking action.

A Trailblazer is creating the best possible environment to heal in:
• She isn’t other, she’s breaking boundaries.
• She isn’t weird, she is a pioneer.
• She isn’t typecast, she is a living breathing shining adventure story.
• She isn’t redundant, she has so much to offer the world through her presence and her living.

A Trailblazer is asking what the alternatives are, who has managed this before and how can she find them?
• She is an exceptional patient.
• She is educating the hospital that milk is not the only source of calcium.
• Some Trailblazers live well with illness every day, some cure the incurable.

A Trailblazer is giving lie to the invalid stereotype:
• She makes magic out of what she has.
• She writes poetry in her last days.
• She knows that when she dies, she will be going home like a shooting star.

A Trailblazer knows that she is not an “inspiration”, but she is real and living.
• She lets her condition be a wake-up call to live now.
• She finds the diamonds in the terrible pressure she is put through.
• She takes notes, gets names, reads books, does yoga, manages the pain, cries but carries on.

And if you take one thing away from this, know this:

The disabilities, the diseases, the diagnosis, the difficulty
can just be the footnotes,
YOU are the adventure story.