Chronic pain, whether the intensity is high or low, can feel like the only defining feature of your personality.
It chips away at your energy and your willingness to do things you enjoy.
When you’re in pain, you may feel as though everything is meaningless.
Our aim, when we tackle chronic pain, often isn’t to get rid of it completely.
When we live with the pain rather than live against it, it means that we grow to understand how to manoeuver the world despite the pain and in many cases, this can make us stronger.
This takes some acceptance, some courage and a sprinkle of determination.
Manoeuvring the world with pain is a skill. It takes time to learn your body and how it changes when everything hurts.
It’s a skill to keep smiling, to laugh and to stave off cynicism. If you ever have the fortune of no longer being in pain, these are skills that you will carry with you forever.
It’s a skill to make time to complete some self-care. It’s forever tempting to try keeping up with the people around you and ignore the consistent distraction and disadvantage that is chronic pain!
It’s a skill to focus more – even if it’s just because you can’t sit in the same spot forever!
It’s a skill to slow down, be mindful and be kind to ourselves.
It takes effort to get to work or keep the house clean or simply take care of ourselves. Even if you are being cared for by someone else – we express gratitude with a “thank you”.
Do you see it now? Pain feels like it is all consuming but we’re actually strong people. No matter how weak we feel. The simple fact that you’re able to do more than just be in pain, shows that there is more to your life than pain.
I’ve been in pain for 10 years now and I’m still very much a rookie. However, I’ve learned skills that help me with negative thoughts. I’ve learned to be more empathetic with people. I’ve learned to move through my days slower but with greater focus.
At the foundation, chronic pain is a difficult mountain to climb. Especially when we’re at the bottom.
But, we can give ourselves credit – we get around the world despite being in pain. There’s more to our personalities than being “people who hurt all the time”.
It’s something to acknowledge and appreciate.
I want you to acknowledge that you’re stronger than your pain. There is more to you than being a vessel for pain.
And whatever that extra stuff is – appreciate it. Love it and value it.
We’re all trying to get better. One day at a time.