Some Real Talk About Chronic Pain and Illness
So… here’s some real talk about chronic pain and illness (from someone who’s been there).
- Sometimes severe or chronic pain is the wake-up call you need to kick yourself into immediate action. We can get complacent with our health and think we can just take a pill and fix everything. That is not always the case, sometimes you have to step up and take urgent action to fix the situation.
- If you get a bad diagnosis, you’ll probably go through grief stages such as shock, denial, sadness and anger. You can use an emotive feeling such as anger to energise and fuel your fight back. Those strong feelings can focus and prod you into becoming your own health warrior and fighting – for yourself and your loved ones!
- You always have a choice. Whatever your pain condition, you can choose to get a second (or a third) opinion. The medical profession is so specialised that people can be experts in their own field but have little knowledge of alternatives outside their expertise. Medical professionals are also often overworked and are looking after numerous patients who are all unique. Sometimes they don’t have all the information needed to make the best decision (so do your part and always keep them fully informed) and occasionally test results are misinterpreted. There is a reason the term ‘medical opinion’ is widely used.
- You already know personally what pain is and how it can make you feel. It can keep grinding you down until you find it hard to remember a time when you weren’t in great pain. You despair of ever feeling good again and anxiety or depression can start to raise its ugly head.
- You also probably know how at first people sympathised with you but as the days dragged on into weeks and months, they began to get tired of you and your pain because while it exhausts you, it also exhausts those around you. Then people start to avoid you and slowly you become isolated and lonely in your pain.
- But you can fight back and you don’t have to continue to accept your current situation. You can get angry about it and totally annoyed with the unfairness of it all but then decide to use that anger. After all anger is just an emotion or ‘energy in motion’. So you can choose to use that energy in positive ways to your advantage, to motivate and become determined to conquer your pain. You have to dig deep but your power is there, just patiently waiting for you to step up and use it!
- Finally sometimes you, and everyone around you, can do everything right and you still get a bad outcome or no improvement in your pain. Sometimes bad things happen to good people but that’s life and beyond our control. It is still important to never give up because you only fail when you stop trying!
On a personal note, when I was diagnosed with MS, pain medications did not work for me and a big motivation at that time was finding relief. If my pain meds had worked, I may have sat back passively, accepted my diagnosis and would probably have rapidly deteriorated and passed away just as my neurologist predicted. Now when I look back, my pain was actually my saviour!
And so this is the power of pain. Once you become determined to fight and overcome it, you have a mission and a different focus, a distraction from your pain and then it becomes your powerful motivation. Because frankly the vast majority of us will do anything to avoid pain.
Then once you overcome it, you will become so empowered and strong. You will come to know that it is not a permanent condition and that you can beat it – you just have to engage the fighter, awaken the warrior in you.
“Pain does not have to mean suffering, it can actually be the birth of a stronger and more powerful you.”
Read more in my book, Drug Free Pain Relief.