Pain As A Catalyst

Pain As A Catalyst

It’s easy to become stuck in our ways.

As humans we easily become creatures of habit, comfort and denial. How do you teach an old dog new tricks?

With people, I have found that one catalyst can be pain. Pain settling into your body can force change out of necessity. Discomfort will move you out of your comfort zone and into seeking solutions. Some of us seek to just numb the pain, but those of us that use pain as a launching point for change, receive growth and so much more.

That was me.

I was perfectly content living a life of debauchery, lush indulgence, and unrealized shame. I spent the first couple years of my interstitial cystitis diagnosis repeatedly asking, why me? How did this happen? I was truly ashamed of my state and experiences; however, through my own journey through pain (one I’m still in the middle of) I’ve found purpose and self growth.

It took entire body,  systemic, chronic pain to propel me to change my life for the better. However bitter, resentful or loathsome I’ve felt at times, I’m grateful for my IC diagnosis and chronic pain journey.

Pain drove me to find something called The Rossiter System. A company in Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain Recovery, altered my life for the better by helping me find ways to naturally and permanently change my pain and ultimately led me to a career change that allows me to help guide other people out of pain of their own.

I have never wanted to feel numb to the experiences life has to offer. I want to feel the full scale of emotions. Medication always takes that possibility away; with its numbing, dulling effects I end up feeling like a shell of who I could be. I’ve always wanted healing to be natural, but I had no idea how far from natural my lifestyle was until I started pursuing a truly natural healing path, using assistance from experts at Zen Functional Wellness and Rocky Mountain Natural Health - alongside those at StraightLine Fitness Studio and Banner Health Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

I spent 9 years before receiving  the diagnosis, studying broadcast journalism while working full time in technical support. My reason for pursuing a college degree was to obtain credibility to seek and disseminate truth. What’s more true than natural health and healing?

During my stint in college, I  gained approximately 100 lbs in weight. At age 18 I was a 130lb varsity soccer athlete; by age 25 I was a 220lb desk jockey. I started exercising and dropped energy drinks, but  it wasn’t enough to make a lasting impact. When I was injured, I gained over 20lbs in one month by not remaining active and continuing to live an unhealthy food lifestyle for my body’s specific needs. It took years of trying new things to really be on the right path towards balance of my microbiome to restore normalcy to my digestive system. A side effect of healthy lifestyle changes in diet and gut care was I lost a ton of weight. Now at the onset of age 30, I’m back to a healthy 130lbs. I eat (maybe more than I should at times), but it’s clean eating. I know I’ve got work to do still, but I’m no longer afraid or hesitant to make changes and learn my body’s needs.

After college I felt lost, stuck at a dead end job with a degree but minimal experience in any field that would relate. All of my experience was customer service oriented. I caught up on my Netflix shows! I had time to research and obsess about my disease, but I didn’t feel I had growth potential. I realize now, having goals, and seeing progress helps keep my happiness up .

For the past 5 years I’d been wishing for a job that would allow me to live a more active lifestyle, while continuing to write. You see, working customer service or clerical roles while finishing college to make ends meet, I was always in pain at the end of a 10 hour desk day. It had me further from my writing goals, not closer.Without the career swap to a body worker, I would have continually capped my knowledge and become burned out in a position. I have a vision of a 2 fold life: that of a body worker, actively participating in truth dissemination on an intimate 1 on 1 level; while writing my discoveries, pursuing writing in various forms and avenues. Here at the cusp of the  future I’ve dreamed about, I only have my chronic pain journey to thank. In wanting to naturally heal myself, I’ve found ways to help others down similar paths. I see a never ending journey of helping others, finding new ways to heal people naturally riddled with frustration, challenges, and obstacles, but in the end bringing me peace, growth and much needed change.

Nothing in life is stagnant. Not this moment, not your situation, not relationships, not one thing. Embracing growth and change would have been a much longer journey without life forcing me to take on something heavy,real, and painful.

To top it off, I know who my real friends are and I have a strong support system that believes in me. One of the biggest challenges with receiving this diagnosis and starting to change my life for the better, was how many people left along the way. My circles shifted. I know who can listen to me when I need to vent. I know who I can rely on and my limits for extending myself. I have love, support and companions I believe will be friends for life. Without any of these challenges I may not value my relationships as much. I’m surrounded by uplifting, honest, inspiring, grateful, excited to be alive people. I’ve also met the man I’d like to spend my life with. His patience through this experience has been wonderful. I’ve seen others with similar issues fighting about this with their lovers. At times we’ve fought because he can’t fix me and I felt burdensome, but we persevered, loved through it and chose each others’ best interests. HE’s changed diets, lifestyles and hobbies all to help support me. I trust him for life because of these experiences. I know our love is real because of the painful work we put into each other and getting me better, day by day, bit by bit.

I feel growth in my wisdom, I feel I understand more truth about the food industry, how we as a society got here not just me as a person. I see a veil lifting, showing me a clean, simple existence of bodywork, truth and literature, never ending education, growth and change.

Don’t be stuck in your moment or caught up on someone else’s path. Focus on yourself, your journey and your own goals. Let discomfort or pain be your catalyst for growth and change, watch your life transform.

Perseverance apples, I believe in you.

Apple out,

K. Sullivan



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