When the Darkness Finds You Through Chronic Pain & Fibromyalgia: How I Learned to Find Light in the Darkness & Use it by Keith Sereduck
Pain is an interesting thing. It can be equal parts terrifying and comforting, like a movie villain you love to hate. It can also be weaponized into something that can give you a strength you never thought possible.
I've written many tips about fighting pain; learning how to be positive at all times and not let it run – or ruin – your life. As someone who has fought chronic pain from fibromyalgia for almost all of my life (since I was 12), I've learned more than enough tricks that can help. Whether it involves exercise, stretching, being positive, taking supplements, finding hobbies and outlets, there are many ways to fight back.
I began a Facebook page called @FibromyalgiaFightersAndSurvivors a couple years ago to fill what I viewed as a void in the Facebook world: a fibromyalgia page that wasn't all about negativity and complaining. Running the page ended up being a great therapy for me because, at times, it forced me to put out a positive message out to the world on many days where I was feeling anything but. It slowly took on a life of it's own, but I knew there was still one piece missing.
You may have read a previous tip of mine about how I took up painting three years ago. What started as a relaxation outlet and means of escape turned into something even more powerful for me. It gave me a way to take years of writing, poetry, stream of consciousness and thoughts and turn it into something I'd been wanting to do my entire life – put what I was feeling into words. Together those words, artwork and tips from my page became my book, When the Darkness Finds You.
When the Darkness Finds You is, in its most basic form, a pain journal. It is a long-form poem about using your mind and all of the other tools around you to fight back against the Darkness and all of the monsters that it holds. No matter what obstacles the Darkness throws your way, knowing that you possess the powers needed to overcome them is the first step in winning the battles that you face. Sometimes, I've learned, the Darkness can even be your friend, pointing out things about you that you might not have ever known. You've heard it before: there are positive aspects to everything. The Dark is no exception.
Your body believes everything you tell it. It is a complex machine, but it follows directions. If you tell it the pain is gone – that the anxiety, the depression is gone – your body will hear you. No, it won't happen overnight. Like everything, it takes practice, dedication. But it will eventually hear you. It will listen and obey the commands it's been given. It will BELIEVE you.
You need to search the Darkness. Learn to find the light and color in everything you see – or don't see. Learn to visualize the weapons you can't find and then practice using them. Finding your positivity is a never-ending journey. A journey filled with many hills and valleys. Along the way, you'll learn a lot of yourself. Hopefully, you'll come to find that you're not "suffering," you're fighting. You're not a victim, you're a warrior.
Find your light.
Find your true colors.
Train your mind.
Fight back against the night.
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