My wandering womb
Do you have chronic pain? Since I was 17 I had a chronic pain in my back, upper-right shoulder.
Formal diagnosis...."tech neck"? No one really wanted to give me one. So I've tried a variety of therapies with varying degrees of success, including: (Way too much) Tylenol, PT, massage, Tiger Balm, muscle relaxers, a mouthguard, yoga, acupuncture, diet, exercise, etc.
Thanks to my loving husband giving me regular massages combined with CBT, regular acupuncture and cupping over the last few years, the pain has more or less disappeared. Now, though, the past month, I've had a new friend: waxing and waning pain in my upper-right jaw. Enter: NEW mouthguard, MORE Tiger Balm, even more massage, etc etc etc etc etc ad nauseam.
"But Courtney, this has nothing to do with your uterus."
Hear me out. The "wandering womb" is the prevailing belief developed in Ancient Greece that any reason for a female experiencing pain was, you guessed it, that tricky uterus floating all around the body and not settling into its rightful place.
Personally, my womb is firmly planted. If you own a womb, hopefully, yours is too. However, this idea of "an animal within an animal" has stuck with me since I first heard about it when I was, yes, 17. Since life's been an incredibly rewarding but oftentimes challenging series of events that have landed me where I am so far. All with my shoulder/neck/jaw/head aching to varying degrees along the way.
While the exact location wanders, what I've learned is this: Personally, I experience emotional pain through feeling physical pain in my body. And I think a lot of you, do, too. Especially those who tend not to express emotions through their words or actions, but instead, internalize them.