United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Even Advocates Lose Their Spirit.


This statement may come as a shock to many. People see advocates for RSD/CRPS and those that fight so valiantly against it as heroes with armor as thick as lead. Nothing can touch them, or pull them down. Sadly this isn’t always the case. We are just as vulnerable to the clashes and the arrows of misfortune, depression, and circumstance as anyone else. We may sometimes give words of encouragement but sometimes it is us who need to hear those words the most.

We aren’t alone in this world. We are not invincible but we are stronger than we know. It is when we are in the pit that we see the light. Hoping to, one day, be free of the bonds that hold us back. The words from those around us saying others have tried and failed. To see the fear of failure hold us tight and keep us from success.

It is when we shrug off that fear embrace it and accept it for what it is, and overcome it that we truly crawl into the light.

Now am I saying I am totally there? No. I am still a climber. I strive to one day overcome being a Chronic Pain Patient and stand free and without worry of what the day might bring. To be able to do what my mind tells my body to do and not have to sit there thinking about the consequences.

You may say, “What is the point of continuing to fight against a battle some say is un-winnable?”

Do not allow despair to overtake and wrack your brain and body. Despair will tell you that the simplest thing isn’t winnable. How can we overcome the larger obstacles if we are sitting in the fetal position about the small ones?

I once dreamt of a fable. I was taking these stairs and from where I was it looked easy enough to walk down. But when I took a step down and turned around the step I had just taken was far above my head. I sat there wondering how in the world I could get back up. It is too tall and I cannot climb. My arms are too weak and there aren’t even foot or hand holds. So I turned around and began to climb further and further down the staircase. If I couldn’t go up, I might as well go down. As I walked the colder and the scarier it got. I walked till I came upon a man in tattered and worn clothes. He looked up at me and smiled. “Finally! My Salvation!” He screamed. He told me that he had been trapped there, with no way out. He scrambled to his feet and knocked me to the ground and stood on me and he finally was able to reach the top of the step above. He scrambled up the ledge looked down and laughed. He turned and walked away and not but a minute later I heard a loud cry of sadness come from the step above me. He had forgotten that the other steps were as high as the last. Even though he had gotten this far he was still no further than before.

The moral of this fable is, only together can we overcome these hurdles. I have tried going it alone, thinking that life was fine and dandy, only to realize that I was walking further and further down those steps. Ignoring the warning signs, and not getting help. Together, through support and psychological intervention, we can continue to be strong enough to overcome these obstacles. Instead of climbing one over the other we can support and lift each other up and over these steps and back into a healthy state of being. We all need this. This is not just for people in pain, like RSD/CRPS, but every person who has ever breathed the air or stood on this earth. We all need to pull together and support each other through each and every obstacle that stands in our way.

Only together we can make it. For if we divide and put ourselves before others,  we may get to that next step and find no one left.

Christa Whightsel
Creator and Co-Founder of RSD/CRPS Doesn’t Own Me

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