June 3, 2017

A Love Letter For Anyone in Pain

My love, I have been thinking of you so much lately and wanted to be sure you knew a few things. For starters, you are not alone. Even when it feels like no one gets you, no one hears you and no one can possibly tolerate the amount of pain you are in. You are not alone. I am here and the Universe is always holding you.

If you’re reading my blog, chances are that you are a person who strives to be positive and optimistic in life even when it’s hard. I am too, and I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not chosen to be more committed to my happiness than my suffering in every moment I am alive. However, this blog is about acknowledging those moments that aren’t filled with positive affirmations, but are filled with tears. We all have them and I believe that we have been doing ourselves an incredible disservice by shoving them to the side and not owning the FULL truth. Not just the sweet and pretty stuff, but the hard moments that crack us open.

For those of you reading this that deal with chronic illness like I do or body pain on any level, this is for you. This might also resonate for people with deep emotional or spiritual pain.

I am sorry that there are challenges you deal with on a daily basis that others might never know about. That every time you go to sleep you are grateful for the relief because for 7ish hours you don’t have to think about your body. Except for those nights when your body wakes you up. When the pain is so loud you can’t even sleep. I am sorry for those days when you have to be brave (basically every day) and not one person has any clue about what you’re managing. Or how hard it was for you to get it together enough to just show up.

I am sorry that you are expected to thrive when most people take sick days for a common cold, and you feel sick everyday. I know it doesn’t feel fair and in a lot of ways, it isn’t. I am sorry that your body hasn’t shown up the way that you had dreamed it would. I know the amount of shame, rage, and heartbreak that brings.

It’s ok to be angry about it. To be down-right pissed that this magnificent body of yours can’t seem to “get it together” or act the way that everyone else’s bodies seem to. It’s ok to feel that it totally blows. It sucks. And sometimes, it’s even ok to wonder if you’re strong enough to handle it. Sometimes, you might need to indulge in thoughts like that because it’s the only way for you to truly feel how hard this is. Because every day you are holding your spirit up so that this dis-ease and pain doesn’t eat you alive. I know. I have known and lived it for the past 26 years of my life and it is no small feat.  

I am sorry that the most simple moments in life can be filled with so much stress for someone with chronic illness or body pain. Everything from taking a shower, eating a meal, going on a date, getting dressed, having a sleepover, walking (God forbid we try to actually work out), and a million more things.  

But guess what? You are going to be ok. It’s ok if hearing that brings up a wave of emotions. It makes me emotional just to write it. But you ARE going to be ok. You made it this far and let me tell you, that body pain is polishing your soul off like a rough cut diamond that is being shaped into a beautiful gem. I know this to be true. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t the hardest thing you will ever go through, that at times you won’t feel completely alone and that it wouldn’t be amazing if things were different. But I know you are going to be OK.  

One of the things that I have been working on recently is letting people into my journey with my body. It’s honestly one of the most challenging things I have ever taken on because I have a lifetime of proof that people don’t want to hear my truth, my pain, or my sadness. But that’s not exactly accurate anymore and I have been working on re-training myself in this area. Yes, my soul’s truth isn’t for everyone in my life, but there are some beautiful people that I have chosen to co-create life with who would love to show up for me if I just let them.  

So this is your encouragement to try letting even just one more person in a little bit more. Not leaning on them to fix you and not even asking for their advice. Let them know, you need to be acknowledged for how strong you are in the face of so much unthinkable pain and body stress. Let them know when something happens with your body that scares you and allow yourself to be comforted. Let them know you’re feeling sad or defeated on the days that you are. And if you don’t feel like you have even one person you can do this with, let me know. I will always acknowledge you for what you’re experiencing.

I don’t have all the answers and I am still working through many ups and downs of my own journey. Whether my body is in pain or not, this will always be the journey of my lifetime and I allow myself to embrace and accept that. My sweet little body and yours are doing they best they can. Can you feel that? It’s so true. And the more we can just acknowledge that even still this is hard as hell, the healthier you will feel on every level.

Thank you for reading my love letter to you and your beautiful body. This came from a very raw and unapologetic part of myself that I am often terrified to share with you. For fear of rejection, fear of being too much or pissing someone off.  But I can honestly say I have reached a point in my life where I am more committed to being of service than ever and if that makes people freak, then so be it. With that said, it always means the world to me when I hear from you in the comments so please let me know what this brought up for you below.  Can you relate or know someone who could?  Remember, we are in this together. Promise.

PS – There are just a few spots left for The Love Entourage, my virtual group coaching program which starts June 12th.  Don’t miss your chance to be in a beautiful community of women where I coach you step-by-step on your self-love journey. Reserve your spot here.

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Comments

  • Hayley Collins

    Nitika,

    Wow- this was so beautiful and so raw. I see you and deeply appreciate your vulnerability. I have been wading through my own frustations on this very issue with myself as I deal with chronic pain due to lyme disease, hashimoto’s, and epstein-barr primarily. I was diagnosed and ‘treated’ for lyme almost 15 years ago and I was told that I was ‘cured’. 5 years ago I donated my kidney which triggered a cascade of symptoms to appear since the lyme bacteria was still in my body. Since then, I have been to many doctors trying to sort out what was happening. After 5 years of trying this and that, I finally found a doctor who actually listens to me and acknowledges my body’s wisdom. I am on the mend, but I am only using lifestyle and supplements so it is slow….tortoise slow.

    I have had to change all of my expectations around for my life. My love of international travel, living abroad, weekend getaways, discovering amazing restaurants, music festivals, going out with friends for a drink, having a dinner party, staying out past 7pm to go to a show, and more has all changed. I can no longer do those things, which means my dreams for my life have had to change. I am still processing all of this and finding room to grieve, but it is hard because I want to resist it. My type A over-achiever self kicks in and says I will overcome this and all will be regained soon enough. I just have to give myself some time…

    It doesn’t help that no one understands. They don’t understand why one piece of cheese, a bit of rice, or some gluten will have me in agony for weeks. They think it is me playing the victim or being ridiculously strict. They don’t understand that without at least 8 hours of sleep per night, I will be wrecked for a few days if not longer. They don’t understand that sugar, corn, soy, additives and preservatives found in almost all processed food I simply cannot tolerate because it adds more poison to my body creating more pain (yes, even the damn garlic salt has preservatives, even ‘organic hummus’!) I have to make almost everything from scratch, which has made cooking a chore and one that takes a lot of time. I also don’t know if I can or should have children. I am 33. I might be able to carry a child, but the trauma to my body of carrying and birthing a child, and then the complete exhaustion of raising children…well, I simply don’t know if my body can handle it. There are many weights I carry in this new iteration of my life. People simply don’t understand.They are highly skeptical. They have their judgments.

    Generally, I know they want to be helpful. They want to justify their choices, but a loving and supportive ear and arms would be the best option as I make this potentially lifelong transition into a completely different life than I ever anticipated for myself.

    I am grateful for all I have, grateful for all I am and grateful for all I can still be, but that doesn’t mean that my journey isn’t laced with difficulties, more than I had ever expected.

    Thank you for sharing and opening up a space for others to feel like they are not alone on their chronic illness journey. Thank you. It means a lot to me.

    -Hayley

    • Nitika

      Hayley, tears filled my eyes as I read your post. I so know all of the conversations that you mentioned, including the confusion and concerns around having children. I know that I can’t fix or solve anything for you (or anyone) but am so grateful that you allowed yourself to be vulnerable with me here. Even without knowing you, I have such tremendous love for you in my heart. You are brave, powerful and beautiful in the most divine ways. I am sorry your body has to go through all of this, but trust you are not alone. Sending all my love your way. xx Nitika

  • Raini

    Dear Nitika,

    I cried like a baby reading this not only because of the raw emotion it elicited, but also due to your honesty and bravery by writing from the heart … pain has a new value in my life and living with it everyday certainly adds a difficult twist to just about everything.

    However, since I believe that everything happens for a reason and that this dis-ease is part of my journey that is “for me”, being with the pain, day and night, crying with the pain, sleeping through the pain, treating the pain and meticulously loving myself and my body through the pain will shape me for the rest of my life and I trust, once regenerated and revived, I’ll be sharing my story with others in hopes of them taking the preventative steps to avoid ever dealing with disgusting parasites. My circumstances, to me, seem even more bizarre since I’m graduating from IIN (Institute of Integrative Nutrition) as a Holistic Health Coach as never ever saw this on the horizon.

    But God knows the plan and he knows that once recovered and back on my feet, I’ll shout this from the rooftops and help so many others in their quest for health. Parasite infestation is at epidemic proportions around the globe (from my research) and sadly the medical mainstream doesn’t even test correctly or even acknowledge parasites as a bottom line problem.

    According to gastroenterologist, Dr. Robynne Chutkan, MD, 46% of women were misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia. It wasn’t an auto-immune problem, it was a parasitic infestation problem … whoa … that’s off the charts! Questions don’t even appear on the clinic’s paperwork regarding symptoms of infestation … so, the practitioner does every imaginable test (other than an appropriate parasite test) and then many times after much time, energy and money has been spent tells the patient they can’t figure out what’s wrong.

    Our great grandparents and grandparents de-wormed their animals and families several times a year … why would we discard this wisdom?

    Additionally, sometimes we get so wrapped up in the pain that we forget how well our body is coping and supporting us through dark times. Body wisdom is so beautiful … I don’t have to think about breathing or how many beats my heart pumps or deciding whether I’ll take a step with the right or left foot first … looking at and being grateful for how well my body takes care of itself in other areas keeps me aware of what’s working.

    Thanks for a good cry, I definitely needed it. When someone else can confirm that we’re not alone, that the pain is real and that we’ll get through it, the release is cathartic and healing … tears are a way of letting death out I’ve heard. I’m feeling a bit better already!

    Blessings,
    Raini

    • Nitika

      Darling Raini, wow. Your comment took me a moment to respond to because there was just so much for me to process! I appreciate that this post allowed you to release and cry. Sometimes when we are carrying SO much with our health it’s hard to just let ourselves stop for a moment and let it go, cry it out and admit that we are upset. I am so proud of how far you have come already, so sorry to hear things have been challenging but know that you are doing great even still. Sending all my love your way! <3

  • Brianna

    This is everything ???????? I have this saved for whenever I need to refer back to it. Xo ❤️

    • Nitika

      Briana it’s SO great to have you hear. Thank you for commenting + I am honored that it helped! Lots of love <3

  • Lindsay

    While I do not suffer from a chronic body illness, I have suffered from depression and anxiety for about 20 years. It starting at such a young age, Led me to try numerous things to help or get rid of it. Seeing a therapist, being prescribed antidepressants, self prescribing myself every drug possible, self harm, and numbing with alcohol. Admittedly, I occasionally do that from time to time when things are really bad.
    With that being said, since I started following your Instagram, and your openness with your illness, and many other bloggers and activists about mental illnesses, I have felt so much less alone. It’s a tough thing to explain to someone who has never experienced it. These posts help me do that, and reassure me that people do want to help, and they do want to hear my story and my struggle.
    So thank you, from my bottomless heart. Your love and appreciation is reciprocated more than you’ll ever know..❤️

    • Nitika

      My dear Lindsay, although we have never met before, I have so much love for you in my heart. Thank you for such a powerful share and for being so honest about where you are at. I can feel the weight of everything you have had to deal with as well as how brave you are. So so glad we found each other. Sending you all of my love and truly honored to have you here. xxx

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