Stayin’ alive

By Mia Maysack

There’s no limit to the unconditional amount of reasons a person could be in pain: genetics, an accident, injury, or surgery gone array.

Swimming/diving were my passions.

It has been said, fear wasn’t an emotion I demonstrated often – at the age of 3, I would attempt jumping into the deep end on my own accord.

At 10 years old, you could find me spending my waking moments at the neighborhood pool from open – to close. Until bacterial meningitis robbed me of childhood, little could anyone have known that I’d live with head pain forevermore.

Though it has not been painless, I remain grateful, thankful, and blessed to be alive.

Pursuing my love for the water was no longer plausible and throughout the years that followed, my condition continued to evolve, resulting in heightened discomfort, less activity, more severe symptoms as well as limited mobility at times.

It never gets any easier to experience grief and accept the lack of control or sense of betrayal as our bodies seemingly turn against us – cancelled appointments, career setbacks, missing family/friend functions, lack of follow-through on commitments…

In the midst of this heartbreak, one day my Spirit led me to dancing.

The rhythm of a good beat speaks to me in a way no one else, or thing, ever could.

There’s obvious irony in the fact that it feels as though I just slammed my head against the wall but yet loud – extremely loud – bass-heavy music sometimes is the only thing that can do the trick to snap me out of a funk, pun fully intended.

Mostly all my People already know about the fact I’ve got a *system* in the back of my car, so that sometimes the beat gets so heavy, your teeth almost chatter and it is radiating through your neurons while rattling your rib cage…  I’ve got no explanation for its comfort other than perhaps it is throbbing to a different frequency. Plus, of course, there’s relevant science demonstrating an uplifting correspondence between sound and pain.

Needless to say, creatively expressing myself is something that takes a back seat more often than I care to admit – despite the fact I used to go out weekly and once felt well enough to dance every day.

There are others who may read this who’ve never had the ability to dance, let alone done so as much as I have in my life. And I know of many who have also had to give up on some of the things that they love most, thus what I’ve learned is, we must remain appreciative – start where we are, use what we have, do what we can.

Sometimes, it’s all about the low-impact stretches – at other points, I may be fortunate enough to *go hard* for a few moments so I do not waste my precious time dwelling on the past, because I’m too busy ensuring I don’t take the present moment for granted.

Dancing is a release for my ailments, a way for them to affirm dialogue in a way I couldn’t ever begin to express in words –  the treachery of persistent illness and chronic pain have taken a lot from me, but they’ve also offered many gifts I wouldn’t have otherwise been graced with – including a more powerful possession of strength, resiliency, courage and creativity.

It’s important for us to re-find pieces of ourselves among the ashes that is this life. There’s no telling how many times these experiences will require us to start over from scratch, but that does not take away from the amazing uniqueness that sets us apart; because we all have individual specialties that this World needs, regardless of any obstacle, hardship, odds stacked against us, or limitations.

Does partaking in this level of physical activity have consequences?

Most certainly!

I am fortunate enough to have had a somewhat recent opportunity to have made it out dancing for the first time in over a year…

I found a secure corner directly under the speaker, for essentially as long as I could hold myself up, because by the time I’m done I can barely walk, let alone navigate stairs or proceed with much of anything at all prior to just completely needing to crash.

I gave it my all for a while, even broke a crazy sweat, which felt cleansing – although there were indefinite repercussions. I’m out there praising the Universe for giving what’s stored up within me, a chance to evaporate out of my DNA, through each limb, only leaving room for what is most serving to the healthiest version of myself to vibe its way through.

Ordinarily, however, I often have to stop before even getting through one song and still very well might “pay the price” for hours or perhaps days after wards – which is all the more reason I am so proud, humbled, pleased and honored to share this piece of my heart with you all in honor of #KNOWvember’s #ArtThroughPain Campaign.

 

 

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 also the Founder of Keepin’ Our Heads Up and Peace&Love Holistic Health/Wellness.