No Matter What I Do, I’ll Never Be the Same

No Matter What I Do, I’ll Never Be the Same

It’s a bitter to swallow and it never gets any easier. In fact, most days it’s worse because bottom line: There’s no cure out there for me. There’s no fountain of youth (not that it would make a difference, but I would try it); there’s no magic pill for all my chronic ailments that would cure them all, and so here I am, looking at 50y.o. in five years, with the prospect of things being much worse, because let’s face it, time has thus far not improved the situation. I’ve revisited this scenario over and over again. No matter what I do, I’ll never be able to retreat to a better version of me.

Liza Zoelick

It would be amazing if we could rewind the clock to that perfect time in our life when we were feeling our best. When nothing hurt and we were performing at our peak levels. It would solve so many problems if yoga could fix us; if it could restore us to our most limber, most youthful, and we would feel no pain. I would be ecstatic if there was one doctor, out of the many I have seen, who have performed so many surgeries on me, who could have brought me back to that perfect state instead of where I am today. But sadly, no matter what I do, no matter what I endeavor to try, I’ll never be the same as I was.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all been desperate enough to try it. The health crazes. “If I drink enough vegetable smoothies and get enough antioxidants, surely, I will get myself healthy again, right?” or “Meditation. Yes, I’m going to meditate myself back into a state of good health, peace of mind. My immune system will surrender and I will feel like I used to.” how about-and I kid you not, “Soak a tampon with Eucalyptus oil and Tea tree oil and soak in your vagina 24hrs, while in the meantime, drinking Elderberry tea.” I know, what sorcery is this you’re thinking. But we’ve all been in pain enough, sick enough and just plain desperate enough, to listen to the snake oil salesmen’s lies, and try anything to get our lives back. But there’s no Elixir of Life, no Elixir of Immortality that will either bring us eternal youth or, simply rewind the clock to a time when we were once healthy, before the sickness perverted out bodies. We must confront the mirror, accept what we see before us despite the pain it causes us and love ourselves in spite of it all.

However, when I say “accept what we see before us,” I don’t mean just give up and do nothing else to try and make us feel better. Doing things to improve our well-being often have far more to do with our mental health than our physical health. We already know that nothing else is going to change how we feel physically. Whether it’s an autoimmune disorder, a structural issue that causes physical pain or another chronic illness that is long term, these things are not going to likely to change. Medication maybe able to manage some symptoms, but not the underlying illness that doesn’t have a cure. But you can often do things to improve your mental health, which can often be stretched to its limits when you are facing an illness that is progressive and unrelenting. And, if you already struggle with mental health, it can only benefit you to do things that help you keep mentally uplifted. Utilizing meditation to quiet the mind, bring you into focus or help control the pain is a great way to use a tool that may not help with an underlying condition but whose effects can make a world of difference, sometimes the difference between wanting to die and wanting to live when the darkness creeps into our mind. It can be difficult for those in our life, who love us to understand how that darkness can permeate through our being, and how there is little they can do to alleviate the symptoms of it. No matter how much they love us, no matter how often they hug us, the pain and torment of our physical illness is there and can often reach limits that are too much to bear. Having something in our life, like meditation, or anything else that makes life bearable, even though it won’t cure us, even though it won’t take us back to that time before our illness, even though it’s not magical, may just be worth it.

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Authored by: Liza Zoellick

Liza is a chronic pain warrior from Houston who has been chronicling her journey through chronic pain and illness on her blog: She is a frequent and valued contributor to the National Pain Report.

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@ Thomas Thank you so much. You all give me so much reason to do what I do.


@Jeffrey Thank you for reading. Thank you for the kindness and love in your heart and sharing it with me. It means a lot. I am happy. But I do get angry on behalf of the community as a whole, because I read and listen to what happens to so many of “us.”


@Lj leaves you a hug And know that someone in the great beyond understands.

No one is obliged to change themselves and even want to change themselves: the presence of psychological problems is the responsibility and choice of everyone. That is, each of us has the right to them. The only difficulty is that they make a person’s life much less happy than it could be. Conflicts with people, negative emotions, inappropriate behavior, unstable and low self-esteem - all this poison life.

Lj Dorris

You are very correct. It is hard at times to even get your Doctor to realize this. My desease Scleroderma/Systemic Sclerosis + the numerous overlapping issues. I will never get better, no Doctor can repair the gastric system all the way down to the bowels. Nothing will return, the loss of peristalsis, the complete loss of bladder control, nor the continual diahreea every morning for up to all day. Think how embarrassed you would be if you dared to go supply shopping, & two separate times your urine went through your protection down your legs leaving a puddle of urine on the stores floor. Or feces doing the same. I have been on a total liquid diet for 3 + years. No Doctor can improve nor fix these issues. My back’s physical make up creates pain regular folks can not understand. Your connective tissue has become torn, scared up, nonworking. So no shoulder, nor back nor neck or legs will function correctly.
I suffer unimaginable issues that only someone else such as yourself would comprhend. My family is not around me, so I’m alone in my head trying to figure out how to compensate for every thing that comes up. Nights are worse. I get no hugs, no encouragement, no simple conversation from my family. I know my time is quickly passing.
I know longer go looking for specialists, because I know they will and can do nothing. They always end up either humiliating me, or saying I need psychiatrist. This is always said, even though every desease I have has been verified & diagnosed with blood tests, & x-rays + other medical means. I no nobody will do anything & now it is too late. I have been told by two insurance companies I have to give money too, will not cover the cost of their equipment. And now with this virus running around, I have another fear, because I am in the high risk group. My worst enemy is my depression, I become fatigued, tiered of fighting, tired of trying to find a purpose to my life. I live because I love my siblings.

Alan Edwards

Surgeries for cerebral palsy with no pain control afterwards likely caused me to contract intractable pain. Here, pain medications and treatments are considered criminal and immoral. That is not true.
Most people have no knowledge of chronic pain or the disease that causes it. I was never able to marry or date much but learned quickly that my girlfriends had never experienced chronic pain. Some had never had a headache. When they saw my pain, they were stunned. Some showed compassion, but they dumped me fearing the physical limitations that my pain alone caused. This is not my imagination. My wife of 4 months wanted out of our marriage immediately after viewing my utter agony and lack of mobility in bed for 120 days.
She exclaimed she had never felt any kind of pain in her 40 years of life and I could vouch for it watching her in envy move effortlessly having never stretched or yoga-ed. She had perfect skin and hair that was like silk and was strong as rope. It was 5 ft. long.
Life is not fair. Some of us suffer and are seen as criminals by pharmacists and police who know the exact date we are to pick up pain medication. They have been in the cvs parking lot waiting for me every day I pick up for the past 4 years. What kind of world do we live in?

Tony hardy

There is nothing, the government wants people like us to die off. I have had 8 friends now that have committed suicide because of medication cutbacks or total drop off of meds. This is what the government wants. 9 out of 10 doctors don’t care about their patients it’s a sad fact. I can’t wait until a governments official family member gets chronic pain and commits suicide because of it, because maybe then they will wake up and see the truth, until then I hope the law makers burn in hell

Thomas Wayne Kidd

Thank you Liza. God bless you for your work. I appreciate you very much.

Jeffrey Sampson

After two long years my surgeon finally admits in writing my surgery has failed. I looked at my surgeon and asked him point blank why he lied to me then asked him how he will sleep knowing he has destroyed my life and the many men and women that work for me will not lose their jobs. His answer amazed me. The doctor said very calmly it just fails sometimes even though, I asked him before I agreed to let him operate on me if there was even a small chance of anything like failure a possibility he flat out denied it just like the pain doctors did yet I got Addions anyway.
Why am I sharing this with all of you now? The answer is pretty simple use as little medical intervention as absolutely possible try absolutely everything in your power first especially make a good exercise regime daily it helped me for many years. I have learned even though doctors mean well that will not help you when it goes wrong like me it may go very wrong.
I am now dying from a lung disease known as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis life has taught me be happy today leave yesterday there except for lessons learned. You can find things everyday to be happy about. I tell people when they ask me how I am I woke up on the right side of the dirt along with my loved ones then smile and tell them I am okay which is true.
The good part of our suffering is simple also we are contributing to helping mankind in the future so they do not have to suffer like we are that’s much to be trusted with and I thank God he chose me to carry this torch. Yes like everyone I remember the days of joy without pain but those days are over let us support each other and live for today we don’t know when there won’t be a tomorrow. Smile and know your loved even by complete strangers including myself.

Jeffrey Sampson

I have read this wonderful womans articles recently while she is honest and raw something I personally very much appreciate there are a couple of things I so badly wish she would include and talk more about maybe though it’s me just maybe she isn’t able to do so.
I personally have found happiness even though I have lived with very incredibly high pain levels. I have learned the hard way it’s just an aggravation to ask, beg and pray for opioid increases my doctors refuse to do so and now I am unable to even visit my pain doctors or for that matter any medical facilities due to my very serious medical problems and covid19 yet I do my very best to be happy most days I do get a bit snappy by afternoon as the pain is taking over funny things my dogs somehow occupy my mind and show me raw unadulterated love it is amazing at what that does mentally.
I recently learned I know have two knew health problems both are very life endangering 24×7 and even have to carry a crash kit with me at all times. The two new health problems known as Addisons disease and secondary Addions disease the angering part is years ago doctors started insisting I have injection after injection of steroids in my spine and other locations. I asked very in depth questions about these injectionsites yet not one time was this complication ever disclosed to me not once but if I didn’t agree to these injections all pain medication(s) would be stopped immediately. You can ask anything you want but the truth is doctors and insurance make the decisions on your behalf not we the people. I was lied to about arthritis to the countless surgeries I have had all of them just made things worse even though my spine surgeon promised me I would never need another pain pill again not one pill I couldn’t wait until the day of surgery I was so excited. After that horrific surgery that caused me to lose my businesses let go of 55 employees then become very poor!

Maureen M.

Liza, Yup, that’s all we can do, keep hopeful and keep trying things to help us along.
I’ve been checking out the app ‘Curable’ to learn more and see if it helps. It has a lot to do with the mind/body connection and it takes committed work.
Heck, I’ve tried all else over the many years of my life in chronic pain. ugh! But, I keep trying what may make sense at the time.
Those of us who well know what our bodies have been through, our triggers, what helps, what doesn’t help etc etc are ‘pros’ in the world of chronic pain. It is so easy for it all to cause us to feel hopeless and defeated. And that’s ok for a day or so. Regardless, this life causes us to have to work even harder each day, to get through this life. I’d give anything to go back to life without pain and illness, to be the mom, sister, friend I was then.
‘Not giving up and keep trying’ have been my ‘full time’ job since I became disabled in 2005. And your posts have become part of my support system 🙂
Keep strong and keep safe. Maureen
ps Thank you, I appreciate your reply to me in your last post. You’re the best! 🙂


Very well said..thank you for posting.

Robert Gordon

I am 69 years old and know I will never be as vibrant as I once was.. But fortunately, I have a wife who is an ex RN and understands my chronic pain and encourages me.. Never give up!!