Just like this poster by RSD/CRPS Angels – Kimberly my life was over, gone, shattered when I was diagnosed. I lost friends, became isolated. I fought back for a while almost like a non believer. It can’t be happening to me. The diagnosis is wrong! Then I spiraled into the depths of despair. This can’t be it. This is my lot. How do I live life with this pain? I am useless. I am hopeless. I have no self worth. Why would anyone want to spend five minutes with me. My confidence was shot. With a lot of assistance from my pain consultant and through a pain management programme I found I was still me, I had not gone anywhere. I was not my pain. I was not the despair I suffered. Inside was still the woman I was before the 9th September 2008, I just had to learn to live life a little differently. It takes a long time to process all this, it took me three years or more before I found the confidence to make a new life around CRPS. A new life around the crutches and the wheelchair. A new life around the pain and fatigue. I am proud to say I did it, or should I say doing it, as even now I am making constant little adjustments. It is not an easy ride, there are days I cry in despair. There are days I hide the tears behind my smile. There are days I can’t get out of bed or off the sofa. There are also days of wonderment. Lots of days where I have a great sense of achievement. And days of appreciation and reflection. This is exactly what I meant by yesterday’s post and the phoenix – I am constantly rising from the ashes of the effects of CRPS on my body. This is all just a part of my new life. The old me is still in there, I have just learnt to walk a different path!