Being a survivor of ritual abuse, dealing with massive pain (In your back, spine, wrists, shoulders, knees, joints, etc) is a real hard issue to deal with. You may find some days that you literally break down in tears from the pain, and your sleep is disturbed by needing to change position often during the night. You may find that some days are much harder than others (If you have a physically demanding job, are sitting in a chair all day in school, etc) while other days you are able to tolerate it somewhat better. The cold weather/ changes in weather can really exacerbate your pain levels dramatically. I find that in the summer months my pain is significantly reduced, especially when I spend time out in the sun. I find the sun extremely healing. I still have constant pain, but it is much more manageable. In the winter, and cold wet weather, my pain levels rise significantly.
In my early 20's, out of desperation, I made the decision to try heavy pain killers to alleviate my back pain (As nothing would even touch my pain level) under my doctor's supervision. I found that this did not help one bit. I needed a very strong dose to even eliminate any of my pain, and over time my body developed a tolerance to the pain killers, and I needed more and more to achieve the same result. In a very short time period, the pain killers no longer worked. My doctor during that time (Thankfully) became concerned and took me off of the pain killers after one year, fearing that I was becoming dependent. I am eternally grateful for her excellent judgement call (As a lot of doctors do not care, and only think of the money they are making off of writing prescriptions)
I also found that taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, etc did not work for me either. I started taking these around 17 years old as I was chronically depressed. I finally gave up on them around 29, 30? yrs old (Being on them for a few years, then stopping them, and starting them again---only to try a different one hoping one would work), as the side effects were unpleasant to say the least and some of my symptoms actually became worse and my doctor (different one) put me on more pills to counteract the awful side effects (such as an increase in suicidal feelings, insomnia and anxiety --I even developed major tremors and had a hard time holding a tea cup from a dramatic increase in anxiety (Note: Triggers/ anxiety/ fear/ flashbacks can also cause this reaction especially if you are experiencing feeling drugged. But when I was on the medication it was much worse---the side effects of medications increase symptoms dramatically) It was ridiculous as I was on at least 5-6 pills, one of them being a form of Valium! I have always been afraid of taking drugs, but I was desperate and decided I would try and give it a good effort. Personally, I have found that exercise, proper sleep, relaxation exercises, talk therapy, a healthy diet, journalling, prayer, and practising self care has benefited me the most.
I firmly believe in natural ways to deal with pain, depression, anxiety, etc and below I will list some things that have helped me cope with my chronic pain.
On top of chronic back pain, Ive been diagnosed with:
- Carple tunnel in both arms
- Start of arthritis in fingers/ toes
*All of this is a direct result of the abuse.
Ways I deal with chronic pain/ anxiety:
-Exercise: Low impact such as walking, biking, swimming, stretching
-Hot/ cold compresses: Alternate the hot and cold---about 15 min max for each
-Glucosamine Sulfate Complex 500mg: Relieves joint pain and Osteoarthritis symptoms (Helps to lubricate the joints)
-Circumin (Buy from healthfood store/ helps with joint pain/ inflamation)
- Tummeric spice and Raw ginger (Helps with inflamation)
-Relief Response---Arthritis and Fibromyalgia Care (This is a spray bottle of 100% pure essential oils---costs 19.99 Canadian) You can purchase this at your local pharmacist. I have discovered this recently and find this spray very helpful.
-Pitta Diet: Try eliminating foods from your diet that cause inflammation such as night shade veggies (Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and taking out sugar, and wheat from your diet may be of benefit to you. Do this for a month---then for 3 days introduce a food that you eliminated (Is your pain worse the next morning? Then take this particular food out of your diet----your pain doesnt intensify? You can continue to eat this food) then 4 days back on the diet etc. *Replace sugar with honey, introduce basmati rice, barley and sour dough breads, beans and lentils, curry and cumin into your diet. *My friend is on this diet and it took away her chronic pain in her wrists and toes, and although I still experience chronic pain, my pain level has been significantly reduced! I plan to stay on this diet forever!
- Mediterianian diet
-Very hot bubble baths: Sometimes all I can stand is 10 minutes----but the very hot water relaxes your muscles as you tend to hold yourself very tense when in so much pain
-Cayenne pepper: This spice contains natural pain killers
-Laying in the sun: The sun has a very healing aspect and the warmth of the sun really helps sooth your pain, plus the vitamin D helps with your mood/ outlook/ anxiety and depression
-Practicing self care: All of this helps to relax you and put you in a more positive frame of mind
-Spending time out in nature such as walking the trails: It has been proven that being out in nature reduces stress, anxiety, depression, "flight or fight" mode, and improves your mood. It is very therapeutic and relaxing
-Drinking herbal teas such as chamomile, St John's Wort etc. These teas all help with anxiety and depression
-Massage: If you can afford it, or have someone in your life willing to give you a massage every once in a while, this helps to relax your muscles somewhat
These are just some things that have helped me manage my pain, depression and anxiety over the years in a natural way as I don't believe in taking a pill to fix the problem.