I recently attended “For Grace’s 6th Annual Women In Pain Conference,” a powerful event specifically designed for women living in pain. “For Grace,” an organization dedicated to ensuring the ethical and equal treatment of all women in pain, provides a space for women of various types of chronic pain illnesses to connect for resources, education, support, and advice for how to move beyond the pain…and into compassion and forgiveness. This year’s event, held in downtown Los Angeles, was comprised of a diverse group of women in pain, pain management specialists, pain psychologists, spiritual leaders, chronic disease and wellness specialists, physicians, and various pain organizations all with one collective theme in mind: “transforming hidden truths into positive action.”
During the first session, I carefully observed the women that surrounded me. In some of these women, I sensed pain in their constant shifting, long deep breaths, and careful stretching. In other women, I saw evidence of their illness through canes, crutches, braces, and wheelchairs. I understand the “invisible” qualities of chronic illness, and quickly recognized that many of these women could not be identified by simply looking at them…and were suffering silently.
Yes, all of these women suffered various forms of debilitating pain. However, something else occupied the room besides pain. It was a sense of community, empowerment, and a determination to move beyond pain. Women in pain and medical experts gathered to share powerful stories and valuable information on coping mechanisms, options for moving beyond pain, forgiveness and strength, and inspirational reflections.
One of the most powerful concepts revealed during the conference was the idea that chronic illness can “steal” your life as you know it, as well as “steal” many of the things that define you. Living with chronic illness can shake your sense of self, rob you of your identity, and force you into a new way of life. It is okay, necessary even, to grieve these losses. It is okay to grieve for the life you had without pain, to grieve for careers and passions lost, to grieve for the physical activity and movement that once came without consequences. Grief can come in different stages and need not follow any specific order. Once this grief has been recognized, it will be much easier to utilize coping strategies and to begin to move beyond the pain.
At Kantor & Kantor, many of our clients are women in pain. Through over 25 years of experience, we have come to understand the challenges of living with chronic illness, and how chronic pain can leave its mark on nearly every aspect of life. We have become experts in long term disability insurance claims, and spend every working day advocating for our clients. If you have questions about your chronic illness and long term disability claim, please do not hesitate to call us.
We understand, and we can help.
www.kantorlaw.net (800) 446-7529
(by Rachel T.)