Self Portrait Chronic Pain

“Life on Fire”

These are 2 self portraits expressing the neurological and autoimmune disease RSD, also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

“Outer Smile”

There are those who wonder why those of us confined by pain and illness choose to continue a life suffering when all has been done, and there is not much more to do than to try to make us as comfortable as possible.

Most will never know as much torture as those who live with chronic neurological disease. But to be miserable, to be a victim in your spirit, that you must fight with every effort. 

It may take all you have and more, but you are indeed needed in this world. Never, never give up.

Dear friend, never lose faith that your life purpose for being on this earth is so much more powerful than your pain. 

I believe in a loving merciful God who lends strength when we get to the end of ours. 

I fight to survive, to choose life every day when my body begs the opposite. I want to encourage you today to take on your battle in your own life.

Hugs gentle warrior. 


Please share below how you continue to press on despite seemingly insurmountable challenges.

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About abodyofhope

I do not know why it is that we must wade through tragic circumstances to find truth. We nearly drown! But under the water, there are pearls. I hope in writing this blog, more will come to the surface. Over the past 13 years living with chronic pain, patient advocacy has affected my life through so many remarkable young people, women and men: SURVIVORS. These individuals are HOPE personified. I wish to honor them in the same spirit they have encouraged me to press on. Six years ago, I became bed-bound from a variety of chronic illnesses after a procedure meant to help the pain condition I had been managing for several years- went bust #BIGTIME. In the last 6 years, my entire life has changed. I have changed, but I am still striving to live my best life possible. Along with sharing inspiring pieces, medical/holistic research, and awareness articles, this blog is also an attempt to put my own pieces back together. Welcome to A Body of Hope, and thank you for visiting. [Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/ RSD, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Dysautonomia, Chronic Intractable Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Occipital Neuralgia, Hypersensitivity to Sound & Light, Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, Cerebrospinal Fluid Imbalance......blah, blah, blah] >>> P.S. My headgear is protective for pain. I just rock it hard.

Posted on August 6, 2017, in Art Therapy, Chronic Pain, Inspiration, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. some days I wonder if all the fighting is worth it, when my body is clearly fighting against me. However then I look at my husband and my 3 grown children and realize what i am fighting for. I fight to be a part of their lives. My husband has always been very supportive of my pain and never gives up on me so how can I give up when he is still fighting. I also have a strong faith and believe God will bring me through this somehow, some way. To all my fellow warriors, I hope your pain is low and your spirit high today. Mary you are always an inspiration to all of us for all the fighting you do everyday. Your body is always fighting against you and yet you still fight. Love you to the moon and back..

    Liked by 1 person

    • You inspire me! I admire you so much. You’ve continued to find reasons to make your life count like your supportive husband and 3 loving kids who inspire you to stay so strong.
      Love you to the moon and back 🙂

      Like

  2. The thing I am trying right now is to stay out of hopelessness and take each moment as it comes. I had a tooth flare up last week that was extremely painful. It was hard to have another form of pain to contend with. I tried to just stay in the moment (because right now in this moment, things are generally OK. Not perfect or ideal but not a crisis). I find there is a swirl of hopelessness that comes with a worsening of symptoms related to “When will I ever get well, there is no hope, I’ve been fighting for so long, the universe is conspiring against me, what is REALLY wrong with me”. I try to stay out of these thoughts and remember to turn to the God I understand who is merciful and compassionate and ever present. I’m trying to allow God to help me more instead of thinking that I have to figure out my multitude of problems on my own. I just moved and used all of my funds for it, leaving me unable to pay other bills or feed my child for the next three weeks. Normally this throws me into terror. Instead I attempted to rely on God and stay out of fear. I called a dear friend who offered to loan me enough money to get me through the month. I notice if I do the steps indicated, God helps. But I have to do the things that I see that are possible resources for solutions, for instance, making that call. If often feels like our bodies are fighting against us, but in truth our bodies are attempting to save us. Our bodies are reacting to something, a disease process, an auto immune disorder, what have you, and our bodies are trying to help us. I am attempting to make friends with my body. My body has done some incredible things, like creating and growing a baby and serving me faithfully in spite of years of abuse and neglect. The body can only do so much without our help. Our bodies are not at fault, we are not at fault, if we must blame someone or something we must blame the disease process. Much love to you and all others who are walking the path of chronic pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing this comment. I’m so sorry you are going through all of this loss and pain at the hands of Chronic Lyme.
      I have been through something similar after my husband left 2 years ago, I had to move, I lost my dog, my posessions, and basically started from square one. I wish I could care for myself or work to provide- it would help to “start over.”
      I haven’t been able to put words to the chaotic and emotional process these past 2 years, but reading your words and experience, I feel your frustration and longing for stability. Asking for help, using resources available is not in our nature, but the humbling experience grows us in its own way. God provides- it’s amazing.
      Has your tooth pain calmed?
      Did you find anything to help?
      I’ll use frankencense oil on my teeth pain. I know that an essential oil is an added luxury, however.
      Thank you again for your heartfelt comment. You have such an expressive way with words.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And thank you for your loving reply. I remember when your husband left. It seems amazing it was two years ago already. God does provide indeed. But I have to let God in and I have to do the things in front of me I am called to do. This is where I get stuck sometimes, doubting God’s ability to solve a problem or refusing to allow it to happen. My tooth pain has calmed, thanks for asking. I’ve decided to put off having it pulled and am considering taking a low dose of Doxy to keep it at bay. I really don’t want to lose another tooth to Lyme. I’m vain and I hate being toothless. I will try Frankencense oil as I have pain in all of my teeth. It’s got to be cheaper than a root canal. I will need to return and read my comment on your post because it’s so important to keep my thoughts in check. Thanks for brightening my day.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the “Outer Smile” pic! That is me right there. I continue to fight for my kids and now my boyfriend. I fight because I imagined a different life than this and, while I won’t get to accomplish everything I had dreamed of, I can accomplish some of it. My CRPS friends help me thru when I do feel like the pain is too much. And you, Ms Mary, are a beautiful guiding light. You have been there for me even thru all your own struggles. YOU are the reason I’m here today ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • “While I won’t be able to accomplish everything I had dreamed of, I can accomplish some of it.” That’s an amazing perspective, Amy. You have such a resilient spirit. Thank you for always being so supportive and encouraging. You, my friend, are a ray of light♡

      Like

  4. Wow, you brought tears to my eyes dear. Hubby and I were on the deck just earlier discussing how to not let my fears win and not being so overwhelmed by all the consequence of my conditions… and there you are with similar words that it’s worth it, that we’re more than our conditions despite their harsh reality or if it seems like that’s all we can handle. Thanks, you are the best.
    Your art is really striking. You pulled no punches in those ones, very vibrant portrayal. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well Claudia,
      I consider you such a fearless person. You always seem to rise above your obstacles with grace.
      It makes me happy you liked this- I know you aren’t a fan of abstact-styles of art 😉 I’m thankful this came on a good day, and it resonated with you. I had to summon my inner Claudia and find courage to share them!
      Gentle hugs to you. I hope this finds you feeling well today friend xo

      Like

  5. You are very inspiring! It is so hard living with pain all the time! It is hard to try to live a normal life while you are in so much pain! I have been battling MS for 16 years and lately it feels like an uphill battle. I started my blog a month and a half ago and it has been a great experience. I have connected with SO many people that understand what I am going through. I wish you comfort and hope you start feeling better! I do look forward to reading more of your posts xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just visited your beautiful blog! Congratulations on 100 new followers!!! I tried to become one of them, and like one of your posts, but for some reason WordPress is giving me troubles today… I will try again 😊 The chronic illness blogger community on WordPress is so wonderful. It’s much like the support group communities on facebook, only more relaxed.
      I’m so sorry you are having more and more pain over time. Especially severe head pain is so debilitating. I hope that calms down, or there’s a way to manage it going fwd.
      I’m a bit reversed as chronic pain was the focus of my first 7 years and now the last 6 I have the widespread neurological/cardiac /immune dysregulation as well. However you flip flop or reverse it, when chronic illness is severe and debilitating- it’s a flat out mess, lol.
      We are all Spoonie Sisters, no one understands like this sweet community ❤ I hope you can rest after the weekend. Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I hope to see you again soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I also have an AI disease and can relate. One day at a time for all of us. Sometimes it feels more difficult that it’s not something ppl can see. Always so many questions. I’ve reduced my pain 90 percent through a 98 percent plant based diet and breath work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Dr K! It’s so true that the more invisible your condition, the more misunderstood you can be, unfortunately. I’m very sorry you’ve had that experience. That’s awesome to hear your condition has responded so well diet and breathing techniques. I am a huge proponent of relaxation techniques and holistic approach in tandem with medical care. I can’t say how much my condition has been reduced since I’ve been utilizing these techniques throughout, but I would never trade these coping skills and would most certainly be in even worse shape without breath work, food as medicine, and holistic methods. I hope you’ll be back to visit. Thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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