Let’s Talk About Pain and Baby Steps

by Cheyenne Robertson Bell

Six months ago, I was unable to get off my couch. I was in excruciating pain; more than I’d ever been in my life (and I had two babies unmedicated 😳).

An MRI revealed I had a couple of slipped discs, degenerated vertebrae, and heretofore undiagnosed spina bifida (a hole in my spinal column).

The doctor said I needed surgery. I was devastated.

Pile this physical pain on top of the fact that I had just suddenly watched my husband die, moved to a new town where I knew no one and was trying to raise two kids alone, and you can see why this point in my life was a low one.

I felt hopeless and alone. I felt out of control of every little thing in my life and I had no idea how to get through it.

But then I remembered a seemingly small lesson I had learned in my first few weeks of grief: do the next right thing.

I remembered that I was never going to get through any of this pain, mental or physical if I didn’t just keep taking baby steps toward a common goal: healing.

With the help of my trusted friend and chiropractor (shout out Benevida Health & Wellness Center) I began my physical healing journey with small steps like regular adjustments and deep stretching every day. Then we added acupuncture (AMAZING) and I started taking yoga regularly.

These baby steps started changing my body in incredible ways; my pain was becoming less and my strength was increasing exponentially. And as my physical pain decreased, my mental well-being increased.

Through this very painful period in my life, I learned a little secret about pain. Pain is a catalyst for important life choices.

You can allow it to immobilize you or you can use it to fuel physical and personal growth. All you have to do is decide to take that pain and do the next right thing to overcome it.

In time, the pain will fade and you will be left standing a little stronger and far more resilient than you ever imagined.

Lately, my “next right thing” has been adding lifting back into my work-out routine with a specific goal in mind: I want to be able to do 3 unassisted pull-ups.

It may seem like a small, silly goal, but it gives me the motivation to keep pushing forward in my healing journey. You can see I still have a ways to go before my chin reaches that bar, but that looks like progress to me. 💪🏻

Don’t diminish the small victories in life. In time you’ll look back and see those small victories were actually just the stepping stones to a huge breakthrough.

Keep doing that small next right thing. 👊🏻💗