Moments of Despair Shape Our Lives

Moments of Despair Shape Our Lives

How a Moment of Despair can shape critical decisions that change your life!

The decision that changed my pain forever….

Over 17 years ago when I was in New Zealand, I remember sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall as I cried holding and shaking my head in frustration. I had gone all the way to New Zealand to travel and work as a Physical Therapist and I was in so much pain I could barely move and take care of myself, never mind the patients I was supposed to treat and the fact that I had committed to working for one of the top Physical Therapist in New Zealand. I was in a bit of a pickle and I my immediate future did not look good.

Life can be scary but we always have choices.

It wasn’t that this pain was new to me; I just hit a point of total and utter frustration, and I was sick and tired of being in pain and not being able to do everything I wanted to. I was scared that I would always have pain, worried I wouldn’t be able to fulfill my commitment to work and afraid that I would have to go home, missing out on my dream to travel and work in New Zealand and Australia.  Plus, I was all alone, and I really didn’t know anyone (this was waaaay before it was so easy to stay connected with email and social media). To top it all off, if I had to go home, I would have felt like a failure because I had planned and worked hard for a long time to make the trip happen.

One of the challenges of being in a fearful state is that we don’t always see things clearly or how they really are.  Often we perceive the situation to be way worse than it really is and our brains obsess about the worst case scenario.  The truth was, that despite the severe neck pain, headache, back and leg pain, I was still able to walk slowly and move around enough to stand for a short period of time. If I could walk and move around, I could maintain my commitment to work. I could still ride my bike to get from point A to B and if I really wanted and I could still travel and see the country.  The pain didn’t have to stop me! In fact, being in so much pain and hitting the edge of what I was willing to tolerate motivated me to make a decision to seriously commit to finding solutions to live a pain free and empowered life.

Frustration can be a good thing. It can move you to decisive action that creates positive change.@DawnMariePayne Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Tweet it out!

How to turn Anger and Frustration into your friend.

My frustration of living with the pain for so long finally drove me to make a decision that changed my life forever.  I committed to stretching 365 days in a row and I decided I would do what ever it took to find the solutions to live a pain free life. These decisions ended up being the turning point in my recovery from neck and back pain. Without fail, for one year, I stretched every single day.  It didn’t matter where I was – in a train station, airport, camping in a tent, staying in a dorm room in a hostel or on a ferry. I didn’t care if I looked silly and uncool. I was committed to taking care of myself and kicking my pain in the ass once and for all! I was quickly known in the travel circle for all my stretching. My travel buddies got used to my weird and determined ways and knew to leave me to do my thing.

Since that fateful day of frustration and desperation, I have used stretching not only to improve my physical well being, but also my emotional well-being. I use stretching as a time to support and give back to myself. The commitment I made to do whatever it took to be pain free has also served me over the years. Some doctors told me that they couldn’t help me with anything other than medication. They were not bad doctors, they just didn’t have the tools to help me with my situation.  My commitment to do whatever it took and to find solutions lead me to find the best Physical Therapists and doctors who were able to help guide my recovery. To get to where I am today, I have endured thousands of needles and injections over the years, appointments and treatments with multiple medical professionals, along with some set backs and rejections. All of this took mental fortitude and a determined no fail attitude. Every set back brought with it an opportunity to learn. All the lessons and my unstoppable desire to find answers has totally paid off.

I am now at the point where I can enjoy day to day life without daily back pain, neck pain and headaches. My experiences not only tested my resolve and commitment, but have also served to help me better understand what my patients are going through. However, the key ingredient to success is an unstoppable fortitude and commitment to do what ever it takes to get better. If you want to get better, you need to truly commit to put the time, money and effort into finding solutions. Any time you feel like you have a set back, or you are frustrated, remind yourself of what you can do and find the lesson in the challenge. Then plan the next step, ask for help and never give up. You have what it takes to get better!

Now, I would love to hear from you….Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.

  1. Have you ever had a moment of despair, anger or frustration that drove you to make a change for the better?
  2. How did it improve your life?

Whatever decision you made, I hope it has served you and supported you in a positive way. From my heart to yours, my wish for you is to Live a Life You Love!

~Dawn xo

“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”
— Napoleon Hill

Scroll to Top