Young, Sick and Invisible

My illness has shaped me,
But it does not define me.

Using Pain to Unlock Passion


“I use pain to push me to greatness.”

- Eric Thomas

I had NO idea what to do with my pain. Mainly referring to my emotional pain, but sometimes our physical pain and limitations due to what hurts becomes part of our emotional pain. So the physical is in there to a degree. I’ve struggled for SO many years with how to handle all of the emotional pain I seem to keep acquiring. I don’t do well with anger and don’t understand it. I rarely feel angry and usually it’s hearing about animal abuse that triggers it the most for some reason. I know many people cope with their pain through anger and I’ve more often than I’d like to admit been a punching bag or the unintended roadkill in people releasing their pain through anger (see later posts I’ll write- particularly about him#1 and him#2, the names I’ve decided to give my exes). But I don’t feel much anger and have a hard time externalizing my pain and emotions. I bottle them up, internalize them, push them inward and punish myself. Like carrying around heavy chains, my pain has become emotional baggage I’ve been dragging with me throughout my life and it keeps getting heavier and heavier. I’m like a sponge soaking in all of my hurtful experiences, including dealing with my chronic conditions. And I’ve felt like the sponge has been hitting capacity lately; it’s starting to leak. Full of regret, hurt, frustration, disappointment….I’ve been trying to speak more positively about myself and I know that’s a step, but letting go of this baggage somehow, wringing the sponge out is also critical to me healing, moving on, moving forward. GETTING UNSTUCK!!


It’s funny though how it seems like the universe has taken care of me despite all of the tough moments, pain, and challenges it’s thrown at me. I had another meeting with my career counselor last week (INFJ like me and helped me with realizing how I speak to and about myself). She’s helped convince me to try therapy again. Not talk therapy like I’ve done in the past and hasn’t helped me at all. But to try more of a mind/body approach (EMDR, Somatic Therapy, etc). I’m hopeful and trying to be open. As we talked last week about pain and then what I would like to do career wise she made a point that flipped a light switch in my head. She said that people who have been through pain- trauma, grief, illness, chronic conditions, etc. have a deeper sense of awareness, greater appreciation, and more strength than those who haven’t had to deal with pain like that. That we can use our pain to unlock our passion and to fuel us. For some reason that resonated with me and has been stuck in my head ever since.


THAT’S what I can do with my pain! That’s how I can channel it, use it, start to let it go! Use my pain to fuel and unlock my passion(s)! I don’t know why hearing it helped me put it together, but I like having a concrete way to connect things and for some reason I hadn’t thought of this connection before. It may sound simple, it may not trigger the same type of serious revelation in anyone else that it did in me, but it’s affected me so much I had to share. Our paths to our passion might not look like we imagined without the pain and obstacles. We might need to find different strategies to pursue our passions, but the more pain we have the more fuel or more keys we have to figure out and push us to make our passions a real part of our lives!!


Until next Friday,

Amy L.

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