Grace Theisen is a musician, songwriter, entrepreneur, and activist - all of which are parts of her identity that got shoved to the side after she woke up one day with excruciating pain in her back. A pain that stuck around for the next seven years despite two intensive surgeries and thousands of dollars worth of treatment. Today, Grace has a pretty good idea of where it came from and why it kept getting worse, but it took her nearly a decade to get these answers and find a way to gain control over it and get her life back. Join us as Grace peels back the layers of her physical symptoms and rediscovers herself along the way.
Read on for an excerpt of the interview and to learn more about Grace and her music!
When I saw the Curable Groups program being offered, I was like “this is it. I’m going to invest my money. I have a whole summer where I’m not working and I know I have to dive in fully to this healing or else I am never going to let go of meds and let go of this pain-identity."
I also thought “Wow, I get to be in a group with 9 other people who understand EXACTLY what I am going through.” It felt like AA for chronic pain. I had literally never met people on this level that understood exactly what it feels like to live with chronic pain, so that’s why I took the leap. I also had nothing to lose. I thought “if this doesn’t work, great. Nothing else has either. So what do I have to lose at taking this chance on myself and on this work?”
I now know that I have the tools to know how to get better and the language to explain to people this neurological pain that is being created from my anxiety and depression. It feels so empowering. For the first time in my life, the control was back in my hands. Again, I don’t know how I would have done this without [my group members]. There would be weeks where someone would be having a hard week, but someone else is having an amazing week and making progress with their symptoms. There was this beautiful positive real-life change that we were seeing. It was REAL hope, not this faraway hope that we could be pain free. We were actually seeing someone say “my pain level is at a 2! It hasn’t been this low before!”
[During the 12-week program], I went from taking all of these pain meds down to just one day. I started to see that my body knows how to regulate itself. So this summer when I was going through this work, I noticed that I started thinking about pain less and less. And it’s because I wasn’t in as much pain. I think part of that was the mental mindset of learning how to not make pain my focus - how to live life and enjoy things. When I took off the pressure of healing completely and being pain-free, my body was able to relax and actually start healing. When I started Curable Groups, I would say my pain was at a 7. And now on its worst day it’s maybe at a 3 or a 4. Most days it’s about a 2. It’s not all gone, but it’s exciting. What’s even more exciting to me, though, is that I have these tools. To me that feels much more empowering. I’ve learned how to make “pain free” not the focus anymore.
Grace Theisen is a 25 year-old Nashville-based independent artist and the co-founder of the anti-trafficking nonprofit, Songs Against Slavery. Originally from southwest Michigan, Grace's love for music started in her childhood living room, harmonizing to folk songs with her family.
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Visit Grace's website to hear her music, read her blog and learn more about her.
Graduates from our Curable Groups program, like Grace, have made huge strides in overcoming the most challenging obstacles that can often block a healing journey.
The Curable Groups 12-Week Healing Bootcamp is expertly designed to help you: