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I have spent the majority of my life, since I was 17, living in debilitating pain and having to smile through it.

Fibromyalgia brought along with it TMJ, IBS, and restless leg syndrome. I haven't slept longer than six hours at a time in years, due to this discomfort of lying down for so long. I wince when my children hug me. I vomit multiple times a week from pain. I spent close to two years of my life trying to slowly wean myself off of one of the pharmaceuticals this article mentions, but consider myself one of the lucky ones who didn't get hooked on pills only to go looking for something else when my insurance expired (as it did).

I was resigned to this life, for a long time. Think of that head space: resigned to pain, giving in to pain, everything is always going to hurt. What a shitty head space to be in, though it's not a surprising place to find oneself after dealing with such relentless pain. I'm terrified of passing it on to my children, even thought about not having kids in part because I will feel just awful if they have to experience this kind of life, where turning a door knob hurts or lying down to sleep is a discomfort. But I'm starting to believe in myself, and not the disease, a little bit more.

I don't know what caused this, though I have a few inklings related to trauma/collision and stress, but I know and believe I can heal myself. It looks kooky to even type/read but it's true. My body is engulfed in inflammation but we have the knowledge to heal that shit these days: food is medicine, movement is medicine, meditation is medicine. With a disorder like mine, you have been conditioned from the on-set to seek an external fix to an internal calamity. What is happening as a result of stress, for that is at root of nearly every suggestion they make as to what causes it, can be healed by addressing the stress.

Stress kills. No fucking lie or exaggeration or hyperbole. It's going to kill me if I can't get it under control; a body inflamed is simply not going to get as many miles as a body that isn't. It's going to kill a lot of you reading this as well. They won't call it stress; they'll call it hypertension, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity, suicide, addiction, depression. They'll detach what happens to us from the real source, stress and a lack of self care, so they can continue to sell us pills and booze, 50+ hour workweeks, more property and possessions (i.e., more debts and loans), less time with each other and nature and the things that are actually real. The vast majority of the Western world that is owned or influenced by corporations does not desire you to be healthy, but rather wants you resigned to your fate and desperately seeking a salve so you can simply sleep, nevermind seek to find and propagate real, true joy in your life. The more you doubt yourself and the more you fear what is to come, the more you frantically search for something outside of yourself to take the anxiety away. It's that which both religions and businesses count on and target within us. toddler prom dresses

The thing is, we are so fucking powerful within our own rights that if we can see that, if we can tap into it, we won't need their shit. We won't need the job that takes us away from our family to pay for the stuff and the home that we can't even enjoy because we spend so much time working to pay for it that we think if we purchase a couple of vacations a year we can call it quality time with the fam and ease the aching of our hearts but we gotta keep working because someone has to pay for that vacation, and what do you mean I have high blood pressure, I just got back from a vacation! And what do you mean I am overweight and full of aches and pains when all I do is work-work-work but at my desk and in my head and my poor body only moves from seat to seat to fucking seat.

Hear me, folks? They're conditioning us to BE LESS and need more, and we are signing up for it by the droves.

If you're like me, if you've been suffering for years, it's time to get real with yourself. We were born to be prophets, not profits. So get your shit together and heal yourself. Trust me, you already know how.