I Retired From Who I Was Because of Chronic Pain

I retired from being me

At the beginning of the pain, I was just trying to get through each day. I went from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what was wrong with me while still living, working, volunteering, partnering, laughing and doing activities of daily life.

I updated websites and kept books for clients, but I began to make mistakes. I was no longer reliable, so I reluctantly quit.

I continued to work in my home office with clients who had emotional and physical pain. When I called a new client as they were on their way to their appointment and said, “I need to cancel. I have a neurological disease and am in too much pain to see you this morning.” I knew it was time to quit working.

I loved to work and had most of my life. It wasn’t possible anymore especially in those first four years with Trigeminal and Occipital Neuralgia.

I realized at about my third year with these diseases that I was retired from being me. You know, who I used to be. “Now what?” became my mantra as I began to navigate this world in my new body.

Are you in that place of loss?

I ache for you as you move into the depths of your despair. Know that chronic pain helps to bring forth what deeply matters to you by interrupting your old patterns. You only have so much energy and you will decide how you spend it.

At first, your body will let you know what you can do. You will feel as if the pain is in control of your life and you were almost forced out of the decision-making process.

You can get back in charge by making wise choices, finding support groups, asking for help, getting a therapist who specializes in chronic pain, and knowing that even with this you can be grateful for your functioning body and your life.

Remember that if a person lives long enough, their body will change and become less strong. They will be different than when they scored the winning touchdown or won the gymnastic meet in high school or college.

You will have company so look to those with your disease who still have enthusiasm and joy. Talk to them. Listen. And adore the body you have NOW.


Gail Sinclair, MHt, CNC is a hypnotherapist who helps those living with chronic pain go from discomfort to thriving by using hypnosis, pain management tools and resources.

She is a Master Hypnotherapist, Nutritional Consultant, and a Reiki Master Teacher. She has over 20 years in healing work and is an international award-winning speaker.

Gail lives in Portland, OR with her delightful husband, son, and cat. She can be found cooking, knitting, writing, and figuring out new ways to thrive with Trigeminal, and Occipital Neuralgia.

You can reach her at gailthriveswithchronicpain@gmail.com.

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