What is Chronic Pain? Well simply put it is pain that lasts for a long period of time; months, years, a lifetime. For some people, this means being signed off work, bed bound and depressed.
For me, chronic pain is just part of my life and has been for many years! Being diagnosed with Endometriosis and Hypermobility Syndrome explained to me the reason why daily I am unwell. Daily pain is not fun, and by daily pain I mean exactly that... pain every damn day.
Headaches and migraines, muscular aches, stomach pains, bowel problems, severe fatigue, the feeling that you can't move your body due to it feeling heavy, severe period pains, join pains... the daily list goes on.
So how do I cope? Well as you know I work in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, and also self employed as a blogger, influencer and online training coach. This means I have to be active - its my job! Now don't get me wrong, I love what I do, but sometimes it is so difficult to keep a brave face. It can become so hard to know that you have to go to the gym for an 8 hour shift finishing at 10pm with loud music and harsh lighting and you have to help people with their fitness when you want to curl up in a ball and cry. What do I do? What I do best; be hyper, loud, over the top and hide behind a brave face. Many will describe me as fun, happy, full of banter and lively - I have to be to stop myself from feeling like giving up! The worst part... being too unwell to go to work. I literally HATE giving in. Not only am I letting my work team down but it makes me feel like people think I am a liability. It makes me feel like people are saying "how is she unwell again?" and half the time I think people don't believe me.
So why am I writing this post? Well I am not writing it so people feel sorry for me. Christ there are far worse of people and people that I am so inspired by every day (like my mother who suffers with a multitude of health problems and is the bravest woman I know). I am writing this to try and help people realise that it's not just them that may feel like this, and for people to register that it's okay to not be okay. I've beaten myself up enough caring what people think of me when I'm not well. No more.
I'm Leanne.. and I'm not well. That's okay to say. It's okay to talk about it. I'm not afraid to tell people that I get upset weekly about being unwell. Sometimes I can no longer put on this brave face, and I do need to stay in bed.
If you are reading this, and in any way can relate. Whether it is similar health conditions or you suffer from mental health problems or anything in any way, take a deep breath and realise that feeling like a failure for something you can not control is unacceptable. You have to realise that YOU are the most important person in your life, and if you are not well you HAVE to take the time to heal. If you can't do something one day, then accept it and be positive about the next day.
Being in the fitness industry and having an active career is so difficult and yet here I am trying to make my career grow even more! My passion will always feed my positivity and I encourage anyone that finds themselves in similar situations to me, to use their want and their passion to help them heal. Accept your medical conditions and find something deep within you to help distract you from them, even for 20% of your day!
If you suffer from chronic pain of any kind, please comment or message me. I really want to hear how you cope with this and your feelings towards this.