Tips for overcoming chronic pain

I will never forget how it felt to lie in the bed afraid and in severe pain. Day after day, month after month, I searched for ways to alleviate my pain. At one point, I could barely walk, my speech was slurred and I had such a hard time trying to communicate with my brain. As my doctors discussed my future, all I could think was God did not bring me this far to let me down. In my heart, I knew He had a plan for me. One night as He took me on a journey of remembrance through my career, I came willingly in my heart to do it all. The interviews, the videos, and I promised Him that if He would help me overcome it all that I would share my knowledge and testimony of healing with the world.

Fast forward to this moment. As I write this, I am not in pain. I walked three miles this morning without pain. There is something wonderful about getting a second chance at life. I don’t take the moments for granted. As I listened to the bird’s chirp and enjoyed the gloriousness of the morning my heart praised Him. This morning my request was the same as usual. God, how can I help other people?

1. When we focus on a cause or a power bigger than ourselves it gives our life purpose. I’ve read many times, as long as we have a strong enough why we can endure the pain and hardships and find a way to transform them. Our lives should never be just about us.

2. Take inventory of what we are putting in our bodies each day. With every bite we should ask ourselves, is this helping or harming me? Eliminating gluten, dairy, and limiting sugar and processed foods made a huge difference in how I feel. I have also added in a superfoods smoothie. When I start my day with superfoods from all over the world, I just feel better.

3. Exercise every single day. When I walk it clears my mind of stress and worry and helps me to pray. Once I’ve cleared my mind of the negative thoughts then I’m open to positive, creative thoughts. Yoga also helps me to relax — physically and mentally.

4. Get up and go to bed at the same time each day. If I get too much or too little sleep it makes me feel bad. After a month of getting up at 5 a.m. and going to bed at 9 p.m., I feel so much better. Now I’m even starting to wake up before my alarm goes off.

5. Seek natural treatments. Chiropractic adjustments, massage, laser therapy, and osteopathic adjustments all help me to heal my body. Our bodies are self-healing. Sometimes we just need to give them a little help.

6. Homeopathic medicine, vitamins, and supplements help me so much. After my surgery, when I couldn’t use pain medication, turmeric and a little caffeine helped to ease the pain. I also take fish oil and vitamin D daily.

7. Ice. When I’ve really overworked my hands, shoulders, and back ice helps to ease the pain. Taking a few moments to stretch during the day also helps.

8. Drink more water. I have so much trouble with muscle spasms around my scar, and the areas affected my Amniotic Band Syndrome. When I don’t get enough water, my muscles cramp.

9. Practice gratitude. When I pause and enjoy the moment, it helps me to be present. The more gratitude that I cultivate in my life, the more joy that I have.

10. Pray without ceasing. Life can be so extremely hard. There is nothing that we will ever face that God can’t help us with. I’m learning to surrender it all to Him and put my troubles in His hands.

Bonus tip: Visualize healing. Every day as I lay in my sickbed, I visualized myself walking without pain. I saw myself standing in front of hundreds of people, wearing high heels, and delivering my message flawlessly. I became obsessed with healing. I researched ways to heal my body, read books about it, and believed wholeheartedly that God was going to bless me to overcome it one way or another.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This article is in no way meant to give you medical advice. These tips have helped me and others, and I just wanted to share them with you in hopes that they might help you as well. Please talk them over with your doctor.

Candida Sullivan is an author and inspirational speaker. She lives in New Tazewell with her husband and kids. For more information about her books or to schedule her for your event, email her at candidasullivan@yahoo.com.