• Rebecca Laidlaw

A story of Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia

The NHS explains Fibromyalgia as a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. In this description, they do not capture how debilitating the pain can be, how stressful the brain fog is and how little energy you have to get through the day. If you haven't experienced Fibromyalgia or chronic pain (and I honestly hope you haven't because it categorically sucks) then let me put it in context. Have you ever woken up one day with the flu? The kind where you can't lift your head off of the pillow? When you move you can't hear anything because your body is screaming at you - aching. When you feel so delirious to the point you can't even remember what day it is? In my experience that's it. That's it - every damn day.

You would be amazed at the pain the human body can endure and still go on. But this is not a woe is me story of how much pain I've suffered. This is a story of triumph. A story where I beat the bad guy. The bad guy being my own body.

It started with an accident, a lot of doctor/hospital visits and then a diagnosis. The kind they say there is no cure for and here is some medication. Now don't get me wrong if my leg was hanging off I'd like a doctor and all the pain meds - yes, please! However, my battle was not won with drugs, at the time I was on a cocktail of Co-codomal, Amitriptyline, Gabapentin and many more that escape my memory. Now no jokes here, I can't even take over the counter paracetamol without feeling fuzzy. This lasted two years, alongside multiple trips to hospitals, doctors and specialists. When I decided no more, feeling like a martyr I decided to just deal with the pain. But pain wears you down. I had categorically had enough and would have tried absolutely anything to have some peace from it.

So what did I do right?! Like, get to the point huh? I changed. My diet, my mindset and my exercise routine. And it sounds crazy, even to myself and I lived it. These 3 simple changes eradicated my pain. My diet is vegan (for health, the animals, the planet), anti-inflammatory (no more bloat - woohoo) and alkaline (reducing acidity). This gives my body the space it needs to move and leads to crazy increased energy levels. How else could I wake up at 5 am every day? Yes, even on a Sunday. When it comes to mindset, your brain will always take you out first and it is imperative to fill it with positive and healing energy always. Last but certainly not least - exercise. Will you always want to do it? Absolutely not! Will it make a huge difference in the long run? 100% yes! Yoga particularly can enhance the lubrication of joints and leads to sturdy ligaments when done correctly which maintains healthy joints, and is particularly helpful in the aging process (always thinking ahead). I also achieved a 20k hike in New Zealand - completed in five and a half hours - which I would never have imagined possible before. There is hope!

Having experienced the severity of pain I've had I know that once you find your cure it changes your life and you don't go back. You almost become obsessed with health because you know what the alternative is. If you are reading this and you are in pain. What do you have to lose by trying this? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I believe in you.

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