There are many misconceptions about what chronic pain is.
So what is it? It’s ongoing pain that lasts more than three months or, what regularly occurs, beyond the usual healing time. What it usually means is that the pain is deep-seated. In other words, chronic pain is both ongoing and deep-seated.
However, breaking the cycle of chronic pain can be a challenge. And it does hurt to heal.
Who am I to tell you about chronic pain?
Six years ago I was told by medical professions that nothing could be done to heal me or to alleviate my chronic pain. I was told I’d be permanently disabled and that I’d forever walk with a limp. At the time I was taking painkillers regularly, thanks to the chronic pain I was enduååring. And I was addicted to them.
But, nevertheless, I was told there was no way out. The medical professionals shared nothing with me about how I could heal myself.
This led to me having a nervous breakdown which, in turn, resulted in me suffering from PTSD, anxiety and depression … on top of my painkiller addiction. Prior to this, I had started researching chronic pain as I had suffered more than one autoimmune disease. But I hadn’t taken that research as far as I needed to. I wasn’t ready.
It was my darkest moment and I was ready to end my life. I then realised two things:
I didn’t want my infant son to find me if I ended my life, and
I can’t be the only person who felt like I did and I couldn’t be the only person in my situation or in circumstances similar to mine
My thorough research led me to start my own business. Why? The findings of my research is what healed me and I felt it important to be able to share this information to help others.
How to start breaking your pain cycle
It’s a big challenge to start breaking your cycle of pain. I know – I’ve been there. It is important to remember that hoping to get out of pain and believing you can get out of pain are two completely different things. It’s very important that you need to believe that you can change what’s going on with your body.
Another important factor you need to remember is that the healing process is judgment-free. What does this mean? It means that breaking the pain cycle is not about judging yourself. Judging yourself makes the process more difficult. And, as you know, it’s difficult enough as it is!
So, let’s start with two questions:
Are you ready to learn what you need to do to get out of pain?
What is your willingness to change?
Using a scale of 1 to 10 when answering these two questions – 1 being “I’m not ready yet” and 10 is “yes, I’m all in”. It’s okay not to be ready yet.
It’s important to know your answers to these questions so that you know where you’re at. Learning takes energy and when you’re in chronic pain, you often feel like you don’t have any spare energy.
But knowledge is power. And if you don’t use it then it’s not knowledge.
If you’re not willing to learn just yet, that’s okay. Remember what I said earlier about not judging yourself? If you’re not yet ready, it’s because there’s something you need to work on and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you don’t know where you’re at, how do you know where you want to go? And how do you know how you’re going to get there?
Don’t beat yourself up. It is what it is. If you know where you are, you know where you’re heading. That’s why it’s important to know.
A useful technique that will help you with the above two questions
Six years ago, I was in your shoes. I was so tired and drained when I first asked myself about my willingness to learn. And do you know what? I just wanted to stay in bed and wallow.
It takes time and it takes you to heal. But here’s a starting point – a technique called visualisation. I started by visualising getting out of bed with no pain. At first, I may have been pain-free for the first half an hour after getting up. But that increased to an hour and so on.
Why does this work? We anticipate things and when we anticipate things, it happens. We preempt what’s going to happen. It’s a pattern that we created, whether we realise it or not! By visualising getting out of bed with no pain, I was rewiring my brain. Our brains have patterns that create pain. You are more powerful than your pain.
What do you need to visualise to start rewiring your brain? You maybe like me – you may need to start by visualising getting out of bed with no pain. It may also be something else for you.
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.