I have been taught by numerous chronic pain specialists that letting others know I'm in pain, or talking about my pain can actually increase the amount of pain that I have. It also prevents me from talking with people about normal, everyday things, and building strong relationships/friendships with others. So, I've learned to "fake it 'til I make it", put on a face, and pretend like I'm not hurting when I am. And it has worked! It keeps me focused on my goals, dreams, and what I'm striving for, instead of the fact that I will be in pain my entire life. It helps me focus on serving those I'm talking to, instead of always talking about my pain. I've gotten so good at this, that most of the time, my own family doesn't know I'm in a 10 out of 10 amount of pain unless I tell them. I have taught myself to only show good emotions: happiness, excitement, peace, and love. When a bad emotion surfaces, I push it to the back of my mind and find something good to talk about. This frame of mind, this independence, has been healthy for me. I show strength where there was weakness, I can build relationships with people without my pain being constantly the topic of conversation, and I learn to seek for the good in all things. It has been a blessing in my life.
But this frame of mind, this independence, has been unexpectedly harsh and even detrimental at times. Last night, I was driving home from the high school with a severe headache - the kind of headache that makes me immediately shut all the lights out and go straight to bed. It felt like there was a clamp around my head that was getting tighter and tighter. I tried to calm myself down and relax. I told myself, "It's ok, Lisa, you don't have much farther to go." Right at this point, a wave of pain hit so intense it made me almost double over. My vision started getting black spots and going blurry. I gripped the steering wheel tighter and tighter. I didn't know what to do. I have had this happen to me a couple of times before, but I had never been in the car alone. I pulled over - and thought about the people I could call: my mom, my friends. At this point, my vision was completely black - I couldn't see my phone to call someone. No one knew I was in so much pain because I had become so accustomed to not telling anyone. I instantly wished I had told someone just how bad my headache was before I left Rigby. I had never felt so alone and scared. So, reaching out in absolute faith, I prayed, out loud, with my hands still white-knuckled around the steering wheel. I could hear the cars passing beside me on my left. Through my tears and trembling voice, I said, "Heavenly Father, tell me what to do. I can't see. Please help me." Immediately my vision cleared - as if someone had opened the blinds in a dark room. My pain also decreased. I felt peace and love. I knew that I was not alone. Even when no one knew what had happened to me, my Heavenly Father had seen me in my time of need, and blessed me because of my faith. Miracles do happen in our day.
I got back onto the highway and drove to the Idaho Falls temple. I parked in the parking lot and prayed the most heartfelt prayer of gratitude. The tears covered my face and hands once again, as I realized just how blessed I was. I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for each one of us, no matter what we're going through or how insignificant we feel. He loves us, and as we turn to Him in faith, our eyes will be opened to His miracles.