Pain has been a constant for most of my life. It has been with me longer than any boyfriend, it has been a witness to my ups and downs, my moving continents, my growing up and my settling down. For me this pain has form, it shifts and changes shape, consistency and colour - sometimes crystallised, white and sharp, sometimes distilling to a dark mist. As Eskimos have 50 words for snow, those who live in chronic pain have many and varied ways to describe what they experience. Despite this lengthy and intimate acquaintance, my pain has obviously not been a welcome companion.
I have raged against it, tried to suffocate it and hidden within it.
To battle with something that is so intrinsically a part of you, leads to deep disconnection and a dislocated sense of self; you view your body as betrayer, trickster and saboteur.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis at 19 after only 2 years - remarkably swift in comparison to the average 9 years it takes most women to get a diagnosis. In the 18 years since my diagnosis, I have had multiple surgeries, multiple hormonal treatments, including induced menopause. I've taken every drug offered to me, explored every alternative route presented to me and have tried to numb my body and mind with anything I could get my hands on - to the point of being hospitalised for painkiller addiction.
But it was only when I began to feel compassion for my body that things begin to shift.
For the last few years I have been exploring a greater sense of love and sympathy for my body. I have learned the power of moving from numbing to nourishing myself through nutrition; and have found a connection with my self that I didn't know was possible through yoga and meditation. Crucially, I have also begun to accept that I deserve to be nourished, to be nurtured and that my body and my self are in this together.
The tools and techniques I have learnt have changed my life. I still live in pain but my relationship to that constant companion has evolved. Now I am passionate about helping others find their way to a more positive and peaceful life in pain.
I want to share my experience so that others can learn form what has taken me years to learn, to help others avoid some of the pitfalls I've experienced and the years of lonely searching it took for me to find my balance.
Pain is all consuming, it is draining and it can be impossible to see a way through it. Let me help you find your blueprint for balance.