I was wrecked. Physically and mentally.
Stressed, tense, twisted, restricted.
There had always been pain. A lot of pain.
I was too young to voice my pain when it started, and had no pain-free time to compare to.
Knees at 8. Back by 14.
Shoulders always frozen.
Burning muscles tension headaches.
Etc. Honestly, I've spent the last 6years trying to summarise my symptoms. Can't be done.
Self doubt. Too much pain to be real.
Depression. Thinking about suicide a lot. Didn't do it. Didn't want to die. Had plenty of access.
Trapped in a web of pain and screaming in agony. Any attempt to move ramped up the pain to a level I can't even describe. I'd known a lot of pain over the years, but this was something else.
I was totally helpless, and with a weird detachness, both terrified of what my future would now be and the security of the knowledge that there was no going back.
Life couldn't really be this painful, could it? Was it all in my head?I felt lazy, not doing all the things I wanted to do. Was I a hypochondriac?
I started daily Pilates (very gentle and slow) and regular time in a pool, moving with a lot of caution and really focusing on doing the exercises correctly. Along the way I discovered my true "core" - my Base-Line muscles.
I stopped taking my meds as soon as I could (very aware of opiate issues and after researching gabapentin I decided not to take it).
3 months after rock-bottom my depression lifted one day as I stood up from a roll-down. It was that dramatic, I could feel how all my mental issues were due to the chronic pain and suddenly I felt hopeful that life could improve. That was the changing point in my life and the start of BLTHHM
I used to think the human 'machine' was a poor design, but I was wrong.
It was poor usage that made life so painful.
I did not use my body correctly.
I was not using the right muscles. Other muscles tried to take the strain which resulted in wide-spread myalgia.
My posture (the positioning of my body) was bad, increasing the stress on my body.
I was physically misaligned and imbalanced. The body is very adaptable, adjusting to avoid painful positions and carry on going but imbalance leads to further imbalance. The problem only gets worse if not rectified.
I kept on going, adding more damage to my body. I played sports, rode (and fell off) horses, worked hard at the local stables, being tough and bearing the pain because I didn't want to appear weak. I made it though university to fufill my dream of becoming a veterinary surgeon which was a very physical job, from lifting large dogs and horses feet. Wrestling with cows and operating in awkwards positions. I didn't make things easy for myself.
I had no internal reference for body alignment, no guide to re-set back to Base-Line healthy after trauma and inflammation.
I learned to heal by working with the main muscles of movement, working through the stored trauma slowly releasing the physical restrictions and associated pain, regaining a full range natural of movement and working towards a better posture, physical alignment and a balanced body I now feel better than I ever have done before.
The way my depression lifted one day as I stood up from a roll-down convinced me it had been due to a physical cause. It was that dramatic. It wasn't "my" fault. It wasn't "me" that was broken - it was my body. I was physically wrecked. It was all the pain that had caused my depresssion.
A lot of hard work, pain and tears followed over the next few years, but from that day I had hope. I knew I could get better.
As I recovered I had to relive all the painful symptoms I'd had over the decades - releasing the physical tensions, slowly unravelling the physical mess that I was in, I experienced pains everywhere - shifting around and around. Serving as brief reminders of all the symptoms I've had over the years.
I could feel how the pains were never quite in the same place as my body threads were detangled. Whether it was the bands of tension over my skull or the pains in my knee, I experienced my pain almost in reverse and at a much faster rate - a year of pain in a couple of weeks. I was hard work but I could feel every day was an improvement even when the pain was severe. releasing stored pain - reliving it. re-awakening pain sensations. more soreness/stiffness the next day.
It's not easy living with constant pain. The myriad of pains and weird sensations, unexplained and doubted. It's nice to have that recognized by someone else, but the self-acknowledgment of my pain, of how real it was, how tough I'd actually been to keep going for so long, was a big part of healing for me. At first, reducing my self-loathing about my bad behaviours and emotional breakdowns. I wasn't to blame, it was part of the releasing of physical tensions, for all the times I fought back the tears and pretended I was OK. Letting my negative emotions, releasing the stress. Allowing myself to feel sorry for myself.
10months in - It's hard, well it's sore and a lot of crying, but I still feel so much better it's OK. feeling a bit sorry for myself, lack of recognition of my suffering for all these years, melodramatic or just honest? still hard to accept/admit. self consciousness/not wanting to be thought of as making it up.
Everything starts from finding your Base-Line, the body's core pillar of strength and the key to connecting body and mind so that you can feel how to heal yourself.
Please note, my 'fibro' diagnosis is both self-diagnosed and retrospective. I was too young to voice my pain when it started but I had the early signs of fibromyalgia before I started school.