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.