By Lian Brook-Tyler
This face experienced fifteen years of chronic pain.
It began with an attack in which my nose was broken and my brow slashed so deeply I thought I’d lost my sight because my eyes were filled with blood.
Or maybe it began with the panic attack the night before the first identity parade.
Or maybe it was the anxiety about the subsequent identity parades, each one more terrifying than the last.
Regardless, the pain started with a sensitive tooth which became a toothache which became a dental mystery which required a root canal and then the pain spread to my whole jaw which then required anti-depressants intermingled with NLP, hypnosis and various woo, and then finally anti-epilepsy drugs… at which point I said STOP.
I’ll accept the diagnosis of atypical facial pain (aka “Sorry, we have no actual clue”) and I’ll manage with constant applications of clove oil which burns and incessant chewing of gum that makes my jaw ache but enables me not to smash my head against the wall when the pain is at 10/10.
And then fifteen years on from the inception of the sensitive tooth, the facial pain vanished.
It began with suddenly seeing that my thoughts create my reality – not just seeing some cute words on a meme but at such a deep level it changed my life in an instant. I realised I wasn’t a powerless victim, I was the creator of my whole life… the attack, facial pain and miraculous cure included.
Or maybe it began a week after that when my decade-and-a-half fear of being attacked again vanished, and my body opened and relaxed.
Or maybe it was really about my focus going from Fear to Love.
Regardless, the pain disappeared overnight, leaving me with questions I’m still discovering answers to eight years later… and me being me, providing me with more questions.
It seems that whilst the scars can tell a tale, the true story of this face continues to be written.
And I will be its avid reader until the end.