Sadie Bingham, MSW, LICSW
  • Lessons from My Pain by Cobi Konadu

    “The perception you create is the harvest that comes back into your biological tissue” – Caroline Myss

    Pain has become a very dear teacher of mine. Over the years, different types of pain have made their way into my experience, yet the pain of 2018-2019 has led my body on a journey into foreign territory.

    What I have come to know through my own experience and through my work as a licensed massage therapist, is that pain manifests differently for each person. How we deal with that pain dictates how we come out on the other side. I have found that when I am in the midst of the chaos it is hard to truly believe it will get better, however, things inevitably will shift because those are the laws of nature – nothing stays the same.

    As I scan my journals, a picture starts to emerge that shows the trajectory of my pain’s manifested state today. What has taken hold of my body is chronic inflammation. It started to take root when I moved home (cue major life stressor). Lemme tell you stress is no joke, only over the last year could I begin to see the toll it has taken on my health. Stress compromises the body’s immune system creating weak points where dis-ease can start to make a home.

    Food was the first indicator that something was off. 

    Things I could eat prior without incident soon made me ache. Denial did its best to soothe the thoughts that there could be something wrong. Normally my body bounced back, aches and pains were just a blip on my radar.

    Yet as time went on things progressively worsened but I still wasn’t willing to fully admit to myself that I may not be well.

    Today I no longer recognize the body I live in. I’m reminded of my pain every time I move. 

    On a bad day, I can barely get up off the ground, get a full night’s sleep where I don’t have to calculate the movement of a simple readjustment or take the path of least resistance for the elementary task of getting dressed. At least once a week I find myself crying and/or getting angry due to the sheer exhaustion of navigating the hurt that constantly courses through my body.

    Somedays I ask aloud, where are you?
    Where is the body that can run, hold a pen, or stand up without needing a surface as leverage? 

    Every once in a while, my body will give me a glimpse of the health I once had. Whenever it does, I say thank you because it gives me hope that this will not be my story forever.

    As of this week, a light has begun to show at the end of this tunnel. Fear is no longer a barrier to seeking professional answers to help restore my health.

    My pain has made me vulnerable, no longer allowing me to believe I am invincible. There is a greater sense of humility, empathy, and connection for myself and others who also experience pain that affects their daily life.

    What makes getting through the days a little easier, is cheering on the small victories, fully embracing the hurt and all the emotions that come to the surface and meeting myself where I am at.

    When the dust settles and time has created some space, in my heart I know I will look back and understand the lessons from this teacher I call pain.

    Connect with Cobi at: www.cobikonadu.com or via Instagram @cobikonadu