I was in my early 20s and had been living with pain in my wrists, and physical limitations, since the age of 13. Facing the possibility that this might be as good as it got, I realised I had to learn how to live differently with pain.
Enter a book on pain management that was to change my life forever. It gave me back my sense of choice and provided a new perspective to view pain from. It validated my experience, giving factual information about how our bodies handle and adapt to long-term pain, and talked about how to live rather than survive. I was at a Choice Point. I could wallow and focus on the pain, or I could focus beyond it.
I chose to focus on living and being fully me, rather than protecting myself from pain, and to try to build up to a normal life full of creativity and passion. What strikes me as I write this over 13 years on is how many times since then I have chosen to live rather than make do, give up or survive.
The gift in my pain was to discover how to make a choice and to live fully.