By: Mia Maysack
How are we able to go about pursuing or even simply believing in the concept of wellness, while attempting to cope with the opposite of being well?
At a physical therapy appointment a few years back, I met with a provider who used to experience debilitating pain himself after an accident. He’d since become pain-free and had a certain arrogance, as if he’d cracked the code, so I looked forward to working together.
One day, we were discussing the concept of positivity and I remarked “I had that covered” because I am a “positive” person. He looked me right in my eyes and replied,”No, you’re not! You are not living that!”
First of all, who is this guy to tell me anything about myself or what I’ve been through as if he knows me? Right? My inner Gotti was almost released on this man.
I haven’t seen him since but despite the initial offense, I’ve since grown to actually agree with him.
Having been bombarded with these ailments beginning as a kid, a “positive” attitude was something cultivated in order to simply make it. “My head hurts, but.”
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure how fortunate I was to have survived a near-death experience back then, even though as a result, each day has hurt ever since. I always referred back to the thought of being alive in pain rather than feeling nothing six feet under.
I can take deep breaths and focus on “positive” thoughts until my cheeks crack from smiling but, unless I’m fully internalizing and embodying the reality of what it means to be in that state, the inner barriers won’t be broken down and my ability to check out of fight or flight mode is inhibited.
Coming to the realization that I literally hadn’t experienced rest/digest mode before, not only stunned me but also permitted a very deep sense of self compassion I hadn’t achieved up until that point. So many years had been devoted to fixation on the problematic areas, somewhere along the line I’d lost comprehension that I’m still an entire being. It’s not that the traumas endured were cause or cure to pain, but all the tension is something carried, nonetheless.
The first thing to take into account is that wellness doesn’t necessarily literally mean being well. In fact, as someone living with two decades of intractable pain and chronic illness–though throughout the years my discomfort has heightened drastically– my spirit, mind, frame of thought and perception, as well as outlook, has never been better.
This is the direct result of a lot of inner work.
Each person’s definition of this terminology and the way it looks in their lives is different. We can alter things as we go- however will be most supportive- managing moment by moment.
Some days we fall apart, others we can conquer in our own ways. Given what is in my control, what is best for me in the here and now?
The future or the past shouldn’t take up too much of now. We’re able to conserve energy by remaining present and taking in what is most helpful.
About Mia Maysack
Mia Maysack is a chronic pain warrior, U.S Pain Ambassador, Support Group Leader, and Volunteer Patient Advocate. Along with writing for Pain News Network, she is the Founder of Keepin’ Our Heads Up and Peace&Love Holistic Health/Wellness.