My light bulb moment with chronic pain

Searching for someone to give me a diagnosis, for someone to believe me, asking myself, am I going mad?

Then, my ‘light bulb moment’ came! Through my own deep personal work, therapy and increasing self-awareness I began recognizing how my sub-conscious emotions, feelings, anxieties, and fears were affecting my pain.

While I had some structural abnormalities in my spine, I realised that I was suffering from severe psychological back pain, a manifestation of a lifetime of physical, mental and emotional pain.

Through self-discovery, determination, and growth, I began focusing on physical exercise and my mental health. I started working out with a personal trainer in my local gym, I began challenging my fears that exercise was going to have negative impacts on my pain and before long I started having ‘fun’ again! Now I exercise up to 4 times a week and I love it.

My mindfulness practice deepened which over time led me to develop qualities such as patience, courage, determination, equanimity, and compassion, that’s when I stopped resisting my pain. As I learned a new life beyond constant pain, I started responding to my body with more compassion. I realize now that what I need most is inside myself, I have the recourses. I am now building a life that is about thriving, not just surviving.

I believe that my own chronic pain journey has shaped me into the person I am today. In all honesty, pain has affected my life in some really rough and challenging ways but it has also helped me grow both physically and emotionally. Given half a chance, I wouldn’t swap my life. I believe my struggles have given me purpose and motivation in life. Rising above the adversity of chronic pain and becoming a Professional Life & Business Coach has been a life-changing experience, I am proud of what I have achieved.

Coaching has thought me that my life really is all mine. I get to choose. Everyday, who, where, when, what, why? This is an ongoing journey of exploration, self-discovery and learning. After all, my life and my body are 100% my responsibility!

Eileen Hopkins