Coping with Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is something that can trigger emotional issues. Dealing with chronic pain can be a constant challenge as you have to learn to live with your limitations of what you can and cannot do. It is easy sometimes to compare yourself to others who seem to have no limitations and can do everything to care for themselves and engage in any kind of exercise they choose. I always say when you compare you never win. It gets you nowhere.
As difficult as it might be, turning your focus on what you ‘can do” and not what you “can’t do” is one way to change your perspective. If you don’t make this choice, you can end up feeling depressed, hopeless and lose confidence in your abilities. I have been living with chronic pain most of my life and until the past few years, it got much worse. So bad that at times its hard for me to stand up straight. What I have learned is to separate my chronic pain from my emotions. It took some practice but now when I have a bad day for my back, I imagine putting a wedge (using imagery can help a lot with this!) between my chronic pain and emotions. This wedge could be a giant wall, a football field or some other large object. Depression can sneak in but I watch my thoughts and tell myself I can get through this and practice breathing through it. I will have setbacks and so will you, you just have to accept this but know that there will be better days on the horizon.
One thing I have learned as well is you might have to experiment with different potential ways to relieve pain. Everyone is different and you may react differently to something that may have helped someone else. Be opened minded and be willing to experiment. Alternative medicine has a lot more options sometimes from traditional and it can help with pain management. There are essential oils, acupuncture, medical massage, herbs, yoga and meditation. To me, if it works it is worth the money.
The most important thing to remember is don’t give up! Seek out other ways of support whether through an online community for chronic pain or one in your community. Knowing that you are not alone can make all the difference!