When you look at these pictures, can you see something special?
Can you tell the difference between these two women? Besides the age. Yes, that’s right, you see a happy and powerful woman, dancing in a luxurious environment (that’s me). And yes, you see a peaceful lady, reading a book at a bench in a park, with her cane leaning on her knee. But there is something else. Still doesn’t see it?
Can you really not see that I am in pain?
No, of course you can’t see it. The invisible pain, you can’t see it just by looking at a person. This constant pain that I am always having, every single day for 30 years, 24/7. I can’t tell you how many times I wished I had a “snap-on-plaster” to a leg, just to make people around me aware that I might need a seat on the bus or just not run in to me. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, but I want people to be careful and respectful, because if someone push into my back can be devastating for me.
I made the pain to my faithful companion, but it took me many years before I was able to do that, to stop that inside war in my body where I had the pain as my hateful enemy.
I talked to a lot of physiotherapists and naprapats that I know, because I want to collaborate with them. I have a lot of knowledge about living with long term pain, they have lots of patients. But they tell me they don’t have that kind of patients. What?! Are you sure? You know that you have long term pain when you had the pain for at least three months, and it doesn’t even have to be pain 24/7. I think many people think of people with chronic pain as an older lady with a cane and having trouble to walk. I guess you could look at the picture above and some of you might say that the older woman has pain. Maybe she doesn’t have pain, she maybe has a problem with the balance and need the cane for balance.
I think actually no one of them thought of me as a person who lives with long term pain until I started to talk about it in public. Most of us who lives with long term pain doesn’t mention it very often. When someone asks me how I’m doing, I’m not telling them that I have pain, unless I have a really bad day having trouble to walk. The pain is a part of us but we don’t want to be defined by the pain. I don’t know anyone who likes to talk about their pain, it is something that most people don’t want to be associated with. And for women it is even harder to get the right diagnose and to be taken seriously. I hope it’s getting better, but as everything else regarding women’s health we’re not there yet.
About 20% of the population lives with long term pain, not everyone is diagnosed with this and therefore not counted in the statistics so I think there is quite a large number of hidden statistics that we don’t see.
No one wants to live with pain and the impact it has on our physical and mental health, but we shouldn’t have to be ashamed and neglected by doctors, physiotherapists, families, friends and employers! I am tired of hearing people talk about us as whining old ladies!
I want to break the stigma about long term pain. Stop the shaming and let’s talk about it! Join me in my free live webinar about how to be the CEO of long term pain. Register here!
Have you ever asked yourself the question “Why me?” when something bad happens to you? I know I have. But not for many years now. I realized it’s not a constructive question to ask because it will most certainly not give any answers. For some years me and my friends also talked about “This year will be the best year!” and then something even worse happened that year, so I’ve quit with that saying too…
To feel pity about yourself won’t get you anywhere, of course, to have a mental breakdown once in a while is something I think we all need sometimes. Actually, I had one earlier this week. It made me put my computer away, watched some sad, “cryable” movies on Netflix, eating chocolate and cried for a couple of hours. It gave me so much relief and energy to continue with my work later on.
But to get caught up being a victim of feelings and circumstances for too long is not going to make anything better.
Life isn’t fair. I am totally aware of that. But it is your choice if you will stay as a victim or if you’re going to take the responsibility for your own life and your own pain journey.
It is not easy to do it by yourself, you will have days when you feel hopeless, sad, depressed, bitter, angry and so on. And you know what?! That is ok! It proves you’re a human and not a robot. Don’t hide your feelings in a dark space in your body, they will explode at some time and the longer you’ll hide them away, the bigger explosion when they come up to the surface. But when you get stucked in the sadness, the bitterness and the angriness for a longer time, then it’s a warning bell ringing. Because that isn’t constructive at all. And it is not easy to get out of there alone.
That is why I’m now opening the doors to my 8 weeks digital program “Become the CEO of long term pain“. Because I know that a community with other people who are in the same situation is so powerful and important. You can’t demand that your family and friends can understand your pain and your feelings. Sometimes it is very lonely to live with long term pain, although you have friends and family around you, but you are alone in your situation. You don’t have to be, not anymore!
This is what you’ll get in this digital program:
Webinar with the theme of the week every Monday – Acceptance – Sleep – Recovery – Communication – Physical activity – Self treatment – Mental resilience – Ergonomy
You will also get: – Life hacks – Community with other people in the same situation – Live group coaching every Thursday
In addition to this you will also get workbooks, relaxation and meditation sound files, checklists and lots of life hacks for managing your everyday life.
The doors for registration will be closed at Monday February 8th 23.00 PM CET. So hurry up! Grab your seat already today!
Anything is possible – you maybe just have to do it in another way. I will help you find your way to become the best CEO of your pain which means you can be the CEO of your life, your business, job career and sports career.
I know for sure that I am not alone of thinking this about 2020. It has really been a crazy year in many ways.
In late December 2019 it felt like a new beginning with a new decade. I set up high goals, my biggest one was to have lectures and public speeches at big international arenas.
I got booked for public speeches in Sweden, and of course that was good enough to start with during spring. I aimed to go international during the autumn.
In January I signed a contract as a health management consultant with Oxy Group AB. It felt so good, we had meetings during the fall and I was so honored to be part of this amazing start up with other consultants who also work within health management. The team is really wonderful and there is so much knowledge we can combine together to provide the best services for business who really wants health and leadership changes for real.
I had a goal to become a writer for a magazine and in February I signed a contract as an expert writer within human sustainability for Motivation.se, a Swedish leadership site. A huge milestone for me who always dreamed of writing professionally.
2020 – the year when anything could happen!
That was exactly how it felt. Anything could happen! But I was convinced that it was mostly good things that would happen. It felt like the world was ready to work more within healthy leadership and organizations and I was ready to get out in the world with my knowledge.
Then March happened…
During two days in late March all of my pre booked speeches got cancelled. Since I have worked mostly online the past three years I tried to convince them to have it online instead. But they were not ready for that at the time. It was chaos and panic and no one knew what was about to happen (I guess all of us are glad we didn’t knew what was expecting us this year…). I saw the income for the whole spring running out of my hands. I tried to launch a membership that I worked with earlier and it was good at the moment, we met online every morning in the beginning to just check in how everybody was feeling during the craziest time. But it wasn’t really a good launch and I realized it wasn’t what I was going to do. But at least it was a solution at the time.
Suddenly I got an invitation from a naprapat to start as a massage therapist at his clinic, Hel Friskvård, in Saltsjöbaden. I said yes! I came to an empty calendar but I started to contact previous patients and people started to come to me for massage. This really saved me. And I am so thankful that I have my education as a massage therapist and been working with that for about 22 years. Actually, I decided in December 2019 that I would stop working with massage since it’s really tough for my back injuries and I knew that I wanted to work more online and with speeches. But I’m not the one who can’t change from one minute to another if the situation demands it. That is what a strong mental resilience is about, the ability to adapt to the situation and finding solutions instead of problems.
Most of the people who lives in the surroundings of Saltsjöbaden work at their home office since March/April and as we all know, home offices aren’t the best for ergonomics, so a lot of people actually needs my help with sore neck and shoulders.
I was contacted by a journalist from one of Swedens biggest newspapers, Svenska Dagbladet. She wanted to do an interview with me about my life with long term pain. A double sided article was published a Sunday in late July.
After that article I got several emails and phone calls from people who also lives with long term pain. I got coaching clients from that article. Clients who I helped handling the pain with strategies, mindset and pep talks. Can you imagine my happiness when one client contacted me to tell me that he was almost pain free and that without surgery. Thanks to my coaching and naprapat treatments he got control of his pain. I cried of thankfulness when I got that message from him!
Thankful that my own journey with 30 years and 4 different back injuries – 30 years of constant pain, could help someone else to shorten their pain journey.
Tjejmarathon – Run for Panzi
In the early spring I also set up a goal to run Tjejmarathon, 15 km on an extreme trail running course. The race was in October so I had plenty of time for training.
I did what I tell my coaching clients not to do. I didn’t write this goal up. So in confusion that covid-19 caused I forgot about my goal. That is actually what happens when you think you can have it all in your head, when something more acute/interesting/funnier/important etc. happens, the brain will not prioritize to think of that goal. Sometimes it’s worthy to try my clients way of doing things to remind myself of the importance of every step in the mental training to reach the goals!
Anyhow, I totally forgot about this goal until five weeks before the race. I had been training, but not specifically to run that kind of race. But I set up a training plan and held it strictly during those five weeks.
You know what?! I finished the race! I did it! I ran 15 km on an extreme trail running course. I did walk at some times, some of the uphills is quite steep so it’s actually better to walk up than to run and waste too much energy. My goal was to finish. I didn’t have a time or place goal. I was only really, really happy to be able to make it.
The absolutely best part with Tjejmarathon is that is a charity race where most part of race fee goes to The Panzi Hospital, where Dr Denis Mukwege help girls and women who are victims of sexual violence.
The international dream
I couldn’t let go of the thought to work more internationally. I needed the challenge to use my English more and I also knew that it is a bigger audience if I work in English than only in Swedish.
In October I had a meeting with business developer Kristina Sundbaum. I have a lot of ideas in my head, but it’s not always that easy to get a straight up plan for myself. I guess it’s quite common as an entrepreneur to have this popcorn brain.
After that meeting I got a document from her with a plan what to do and when and questions for me to answer to getting forward.
This was exactly what I needed. Suddenly all the steps fell in place and I decided to write my first ebook. And I wrote it in English. My vision about taking my knowledge international was within reach.
In December I launched my ebook with a digital book release live streamed to Youtube. So the goal of having an international public and a big stage was accomplished, just in another way that I first planned. I had my friend and business colleague Ann-Sofie Forsmark (also founder of Oxy Group and Tjejmarathon) as moderator and I couldn’t have asked for a better book release. And I am so thankful and happy for all the positive reviews I’ve got about the book.
2021 just around the corner
With only one day left of this year it feels good that there is a new year coming up. A year where we can get vaccin for the covid-19 and hopefully we can start to have a social life again to see family and friends. To just give someone a hug. Although I love to work online, but no screen can replace a physical hug from someone you care about.
But I am pretty sure that we will never go back totally to how life was before the pandemic. Lot’s of people have discovered that it is quite nice to work from home, at least a couple of days a week. Other people have discovered how much they really miss to be at their office every day.
We also learned that online courses, webinars, meetings etc. is really cool! I mean, we can actually learn things and get to know people from all of the world without travelling there. I’ve been in this digital world for a few years and I have several online friends who I still haven’t met IRL, but they have become some of my closest friends and really helped me during this challenging time. So yes, there is absolutely possible to build a strong and deep friendship through the screen.
It turned out that anything actually could happen in 2020. But I ‘m pretty sure no one had a pandemic in their year goals or business plan for this year.