While my ex and I still remain cherished friends, recovering from our split ironically taught me more about how ppl connect.
I met a new life partner.
I became an instant mom to two toddlers—#instamom.
I went from working 80 hrs a wk to less than half that.
I moved to Michigan.
I moved back to Vegas.
I was relieved of chronic pain, which had been especially exacerbated in the last 5 yrs.
I processed a lot of underlying rage, with the help of 4 different coaches/therapists/teachers.
I became majority owner of FierceWomen, LLC, and hence, a startup co-founder of an entire movement.
… lifetimes, I tell you. It’s made for quite a story.
Living back in Vegas is fantastic. When I did my brief stint in Michigan last year, my chronic pain was off the charts every time the barometric pressure shifted (which was, like, 4 times a day, it seemed).
The terms of moving back to Vegas were that 1) we had to live near great schools, 2) live near 3 of my besties, and 3) I was to see a neurologist.
Me: “No. No more doctors. No more ‘healers.’ They waste my time.”
So I went to a neurologist last fall.
Of all the doctors and healers I’d seen for the last 23 yrs, I had never seen one who specializes in the brain and nervous system. I was explaining to him how my brain was in constant fight-or-flight mode (usually, fight). I’d even had an anxiety attack on the way to the neurology appt.
“Mm. Hm,” he said.
He tapped on certain points of my arms and legs to check reflexes.
He asked me to look up.
“No? Why not?”
“Because I don’t want to. It seems scary over there. There are scary things on the left.”
“We can order an electrode test, to check the nerve connectivity on the left side of your body.”
“Because even the tiniest of shocks causes me grt pain. I’ve had them before and I don’t do those electrode thingies.”
He tapped on the inside of my wrist. We all have a nerve bundle that runs through a tunnel in our wrist… our carpal tunnel.
“Does that hurt?”
“No. But the nerves deep inside ache like I stuck my arm in a bucket of ice.”
“Mm. Hm. It’s not carpal tunnel.”
“What about MRI’s, you aren’t claustrophobic, are you?”
“Yes. I panic.”
“Ok, well we can work around that, too. We’ll order some bloodwork and an open MRI and see what turns up, but I think there is something going on with your neck around the C1 and C2 vertebrae.”
I walked out certain that there was nothing he could do to ease my pain. Another waste of my time.
That night, I jumped on a plane to LA. I was speaking at a conference in Santa Monica, CA the next day. They upgraded me to a suite overlooking the Pacific Coast. I could hear the ocean from my balcony. The damp air meant my whole nervous system was throbbing. I managed to do a workshop and a TED-style talk, as well as some video chats, despite my pain, before flying home to relax. I could barely think straight. The throbbing was unbearable. I flew back to Vegas to soak in our hot tub.
Jay started massaging my neck.
My shoulders fell.
I didn’t speak.
I felt hopeless.
This was the night I completed surrendered and relegated myself to a life of unending nerve pain.
It should be noted that My Jay has never had a professional massage, has never given a professional massage, and has never been to the chiropractor before. That’s why I was really surprised when a grinding sound filled my skull. Like the sound of a tombstone lid being pushed open after thousands of yrs.
Now I’ve been to the chiropractor many, many times (remember, I’ve spent half of my life seeking relief from chronic pain), but this was different. The grinding sound as my vertebrae scraped against each other filled my skull. It felt like it lasted 5 minutes–it was probably only a nanosecond–and was followed by about 4-5 additional pops in my neck and shoulder. Immediately, I felt overwhelming emotion as signals from thousands of unrestricted nerve endings fired up for the first time in a long while. I collapsed and sobbed (I’m an ugly crier, too). WAHHHHHH!!!!!! I wailed for a few minutes. An electric shock jolted down my spine. More pops in my back as my spine straightened. Hips aligned. I did a big lazy grizzly-bear-after-hibernation stretch and groaned and smiled. Joy filled my heart.
Absolute, pure, fucking joy.
I. Felt. Happy.
As in, really, really happy to just BE.
Since then, I’ve been marinating in all of the new sensations in my body.
At first, my hands were CRAZY ITCHY from the inside-out. My nerves would flare up, then calm down as the nerve endings healed. Cool water helped.
Today I have strength in my hands. I can use a pen and chopsticks again. I can trim and file my fingernails without tears streaming down my face.
I keep getting little floods…. rushes of energy in places that used to hurt, but now the neurons are excitedly firing away.
I have energy. I have great posture. I can snap my fingers (I hadn’t been able to do that, for, like, the last 5 yrs!).
I went back to my neurologist…
“Well,” he said, “You kinda made my day.”
“Well, yeah, I’m a neurologist. When ppl come to see me, they usually continue seeing me. I don’t get to say this to ppl very often… have a nice life!”
“Ok, but should I go see a chiropractor, and acupuncturist, and massage therapist, and all the others?”
“Nope, not really. If massage and acupuncture are working, then keep doing those. There is already some degeneration in your atlas (C1) and axis (C2), and I wouldn’t want it to get any worse.”
He closed up my file and walked out of the examination rm.
I sat still to process the weight of his statements.
I saw my first chiropractor when I was 19 yrs old for misalignment and foot pain.
I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars/hours of my life on things like massages, surgeries, snake oils, magic salves, anti-depressents, sleep aids, pain pills, reiki, rolfing, acupuncture, tea, X-rays, spas, color therapy, light therapy, spiritual teachers, counselors, spiritual gurus, psychologists, general practitioners, the raw diet, the vegan diet, the protein diet, vitamins, supplements, Chinese medicine, Japanese medicine, Peruvian medicine, special mineral baths, and on and on and on… nothing worked until I reached a point of complete surrender.
Being vulnerable by telling your story in an authentic way takes courage. Putting yourself out there in an authentic fashion is admired in our society. It gives others permission to do the same. It can sometimes be interpreted as arrogant. I can sometimes be interpreted as vain. But mostly, what I’ve learned is that sharing my story in a vulnerable, authentic way gives others hope. I believe in this process because I TEACH it. I LIVE it.
I am sharing my story in Kalamazoo, MI on the 21st and again in Las Vegas on the 28th. I believe in the healing power of sharing your story so much, in fact, that I am giving away 2 FREE tix to the What’s Your Story Workshop IV on April 28th in Las Vegas.
For realz, I am giving away 2 FREE tix to the What’s Your Story Workshop IV on April 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada, each worth $49.00.
If you have always wondered how to get your story out there. If you’ve wanted to write a book. If you want to learn about the benefits of telling your story in an authentic way, then this event is for you.