Tara shares with us her brave journey of recovery, the impact of shame as a trigger for her pain, and how her uncompromising passion for horse riding fuelled and sustained her healing process.
“A ten year old child, watching basketball games in the gym of her junior high school. Knocked back with the first intense shooting stabbing pain that ripped through my shoulder, followed by numbness. That pain would come and go for the next 30 years. Along with added neck and back issues, fibromyalgia pains, pelvic issues, warts on the feet, and OCD/Anxiety on a low enough level I didn’t notice it much. I would pop a handful of Ibuprofen in my teen years, before a bike ride to try and ease the back pain that would come up during and afterwards. I kept riding horses. No pain would keep me away from my dream.
Fast forward to 2018, 39 years old, been on pain medication for 5 years (5 different medications), moved (regret), changed jobs (regret), lived to see my Dr. every three months, did my best to care for my family but found myself at rock bottom. Had my first panic attack in the barn, alone. That led me to find The Cure for Chronic Pain with Nicole Sachs. Journaling, learning about pain science, and applying what I learned to my life, walked me step by step out of chronic pain. I can now ride horses without pain. I can get back to doing what I loved to do, and I know now that no fall from the horse as a child caused my pain….
I recalled watching a friend on the [basketball] court who had been with me when I fell off the horse [a couple of days prior]. I know without a doubt that the shooting pain came on as I was reliving that fall and wondering…. Who did she tell? What does she think of me?
I was fearing the embarrassment in that moment and my brain tricked me with the shoulder pain! Nice try you tricky brain…. Fooled me for 30 years…. Now I’m back in control.
I still have occasional stiffness or a sore neck, but once I am able to use the Journal Speak practice [method of journaling created by Nicole Sachs], meditate, and get back to being patient and kind with myself…. I’m pain free.
The illustration features the horse that bucked me off in July and I broke my tailbone. I used all I’ve learned about TMS and was riding again in 6 weeks! During my years of chronic pain, I was restricting myself to short rides, not able to lift heavy saddles, and the low energy caused by pain only allowed for a short ride across the street. Today, this would be an hour long ride and many more photos could be shared. Pain kept me from ME. I’m back!
What I’ve learned from my pain:
My pain has taught me patience. Something my 6th grade teacher said that made me crazy mad. “Tara, ….. patience…. is a ….. virtue” I still get chills imagining her long drawn out words .
I resisted living in the moment, always trying to stay one step ahead of everyone!
My pain taught me that inside of me are all the younger versions of me, dying to help me feel all the feelings now.”
Tara’s favourite pain education and personal development resources are:
🎧The Cure For Chronic Pain Podcast with Nicole Sachs, LCSW
📺The Cure For Chronic Pain with Nicole Sachs YouTube channel
🎧The Mind and Fitness Podcast with Eddy Lindenstein
🎧Mindbody Mastery Podcast with Katelyn Michals, L. Ac
🎧More Than Mindset Podcast with Kim Guillory
📖A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle