Today marks the first day of Pain Awareness Month and our first public press release for Idaho Falls first All Chronic Pain Support Group using the ACPA (American Chronic Pain Association) format.
After over a year of looking everywhere for a local support group and coming up empty handed, I decided to take the plunge and start my own support group.
People always ask me what the story is behind me starting the group and there are a few reasons.
1. I know what it feels like to be Chronically Ill and deal with the social isolation that comes with it.
2. I know what its like to have little to no support from family or friends.
3. At the start of my personal Chronic Illness journey, online support groups and fourms accepted everyone who suffered from chronic pain or knew someone who did. As time went on though, they started only adding people who are Chronically ill, and finally only had people who suffered from a specific illness. My best friend was added to one of the support groups and was later removed when she didn’t have the specific illness.
4. I don’t want anyone to be left out just because they don’t have a specific type of illness or diagnosis. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Matters. No matter what.
I know what it feels like to be Chronically Ill and how self isolating it can be. But I also know the positive effect it can have to realize that there are others who know what we are going through and you don’t have to be alone anymore.
“September is Pain Awareness Month Pain Awareness Month is a time when various organizations work to raise public awareness of issues in the area of pain and pain management. The first Pain Awareness Month was in 2001, when the ACPA led a coalition of groups to establish September as Pain Awareness Month.”
I lost my best friend earlier this year due to a heart attack. She was only 26 years old.
Two other good friends of mine have been amazing at stepping in for me as we try and get through every day without her. When I first found out that she had passed, I wanted some badly to just give up and cancel the group all together. I wasn’t sure how I’d ever run the group without her. She was my main supporter.
Do you know what my #1 reason for keeping the group going is? I realized that even on the worst day of my life, all I wanted to do was help others. So i pushed forward and kept the group going.
This month is important. For each and every one of us. We are always fighting for our voices to be heard, to raise awareness for all of the illnesses, visible and invisible. But every September, we fight even harder to have our voices heard. To make the world see us. Really see us.