How I “Celebrated” My 4 Year Painiversary

February 11, 2017, was the first day my AS pain started. It was the day that started an entirely new chapter of my life that changed everything. I was only 21 years old at the time, and little did I know, that pain would never go away.

It’s a depressing day

I’m not sure if everyone knows their “painiversary”, but my symptoms came on very suddenly so I know the exact date.

Obviously, this topic and date have a dark cloud surrounding it. I mean, it’s the date that my chronic pain started. It’s kind of depressing. When I think back to being freshly 21 years old and waking up one day with excruciating pain, I get sad.

I get sad for my younger self for having to go through that. I’m sad about the isolation I went through for that year undiagnosed. I didn’t know what was going on, so how was I supposed to explain that to my friends that were the same age as me? They didn’t experience anything close to the pain I was experiencing. It was incredibly lonely.

This time of year always brings back the thoughts from that time. It also reminds me that this isn’t going away, and realistically, this is just the start of my journey with AS. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

How it started

My first painiversary was in 2018, right before my official AS diagnosis. I can’t exactly remember the thought process behind making a cake to “celebrate” my pain, but I did it for some reason that day, which sparked a little tradition for myself.

Since my date is around Valentine’s day, my first cake was Valentine’s themed with pink icing and red writing. It wasn’t very good, but it was something.

What it’s turned into

Over the last 4 years, this has now become a tradition and more of a celebration than a sad day. I make a cake every year on the day of my painiversary. I try to get creative and do something more productive and fun on the day of.

I could easily stay in bed all day and hide away from the world with the dark cloud above my head. I’ve chosen to try to do something cute and fun to commemorate the time of my life that was the darkest. It gets my mind off of it and onto making a cake that looks better than the year before (although year 3 easily take the...cake).

How my 4th painiversary went

This year’s painiversary was one of my best days in months. It was sunny, which always helps me personally, and I had a little more energy than I have in a long time. I got up early, took a bath, did some dancing to music, and did some stretches.

I made the cake, and voila! That was about all I could handle for the day. I hadn’t done stretches or danced to music in a very long time, so it felt amazing to be happy and energetic enough to do so.

I love my little tradition of making a cake every year on my painiversary. Do you do anything to “celebrate?"

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