Chronic Pain is Just a Part of My Life

Self-worth, stamina, normalcy, parenting, fitness, finances, independence…

I sit in the the tiny classroom staring through tears at the white board with the words ‘What Has Chronic Pain Taken From You?’ written in black at the top. Green, red and blue words commingle in a kaleidescope of broken dreams, filling the board and causing my head to ache.

Standing in front of the board, John looks at us, me and the two other participants in the chronic pain program orientation, and asks, ‘How does looking at what has been taken from you make you feel?’

At first we all kind of just sit there. ‘Does it make you angry?’ Prompts John.

I know the answer to this one, I have heard it from enough psychologists and with a sinking heart, and an edge of sarcasm in my voice, I say ‘No, what does anger do for you?’

But John’s answer surprised me. ‘How can you not be angry? Look at all those things effected by your pain. Look at all the things that have been taken away or had to be postponed because of your pain or treatment? Of course you’re angry.’

And with that I started my journey through the four week chronic pain program and, unexpectedly, towards healing.

I have to do this in small parts. I’m sorry but it is going to take a lot to accurately describe the weeks that followed. Both in terms of space and emotional exertion. So that’s it for now. I’d like to leave you with a question… If you suddenly had chronic pain inflict itself on your existence, what would you have to give up?

As always, thanks for reading! – S.

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9 thoughts on “Chronic Pain is Just a Part of My Life

  1. catterel says:

    S, I had lost you and your blog in the sea of whatever it is that cuts us off from one another sometimes! It is heartwarming to read of your progress – keeping my fingers crossed for you as you go forward into this new year. Blessings xx

    • S. says:

      Hi Cat!

      Thanks so much for searching me out again. I sincerely appreciate your readership and hope you find my words worth the time it takes to read them.
      I wish you all the best in 2014 and every year after.
      Best,
      Xo – S.

  2. Grainne says:

    What a powerful post. I try not to be angry and try not to let the pain take my life away from me so I’m not sure what I’ve lost. I am holding on to everything I can. I have to make some sort of peace with my pain…getting there. I hope. Looking forward to hearing more of your journey.

    • S. says:

      Hey G.,
      Please dont think I am making light the incredibly hard task of making peace with my pain. And dont mistake me when I say I have started to work acceptance into my thinking, that I have found the answer to living at peace with pain. I am no where near making peace with my lot in life…. But I am starting to accept it.

      Anyway…. I did find it helpful to recognize what I have lost. It helped me to begin to mourn and think of how my life can be different, not worse, just not what I expected. Make a list, recognize how your life has changed, and what you’ve lost. Realize that you’ve had to deal with something huge… Feeling the empathy for others in the program helped me see I treat myself so much more harshly than I do others. Empathizing with myself is something that I am still struggling with.
      I am going to wrote a post from the third person perspective about my journey. Someone mentioned that trying to put yourself outside yourself helps give you the ability to feel sympathy in a way you can’t when you see all your faults first.
      Anyway… Thanks for leaving a comment . I look forward to talking more.
      Xo – S.

      • Grainne says:

        Oh don’t worry, I’m not thinking you’re a superhero that has it all sorted out πŸ™‚ I also have issues with self empathy…always have. I have forced myself to live with things that I never needed to suffer…learned that little gem in therapy some time ago, however I still struggle to implement it at times. A lot of the time. lol.

        Great post, great follow up. Learning a lot from you so far. πŸ˜‰ I emailed you this morning.

      • S. says:

        Thanks, ms. G. I am working on a reply. 😸

      • Grainne says:

        No rush my friend! No time limits with me. πŸ™‚

      • S. says:

        Done! It’s epically long though… And I might have embarrassed myself at the end… πŸ˜“πŸ˜±πŸ˜³

      • Grainne says:

        haha! Oh you’re so my kind of gal. πŸ™‚ I answered, it’s as long as yours was, and I agreed with the end of yours! LOL. Fun writing you today.!!

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