I have never met or talked to anyone who has chronic pain that does not suffer from anxiety and or depression as well. They go hand in hand. I have no reason to choose which is worse but if I had to I would say chronic pain because there is more knowledge about anxiety, more empathy, it is well known, and sadly quite common. I can usually escape anxiety with the same tools I use to escape pain, however sometimes I truly cannot escape pain. Last night was one of those nights. The only difference between my life now and how I used to live is that I know the next morning I can feel better and push through the pain. Last night was terrible though: the anxiety I have been feeling causes flare ups and I truly could not stop thinking about pain. If I was not thinking about pain, I was thinking about how anxious I was. I am very careful all day to not use pain behaviors: rubbing my face, rubbing my head, grimacing, complaining, or biting my cheeks. Last night I did all of the above except complaining. I could not wait to go to sleep so that I could start a new day. However, even today has proven to be tough when it relates to anxiety. I have managed pain amazingly well, anxiety not so much. I am not superwoman: I have shitty days too. I cried more than I would have liked but practicing yoga nidra with my two year old (as seen in this picture) helped a lot. It was the first morning in a long time that I just wanted to cry in bed and not get up for our morning run. Of course, I sucked it up knowing I would feel a ton worse if I laid in bed and watched Calliou for the millionth time with my daughter. It is awesome that she is able to practice yoga nidra with me at times (usually not) but I do cherish the days that she will cuddle with me and meditate. Yoga nidra truly helps with pain but it also helps with anxiety. Anyone who has been following my blog knows how much of a fan I am of yoga nidra. Some days I just truly have to do it even if I do not want to.
Yes, I manage chronic pain naturally. Yes, my life is tons better than when I was searching for a cure or taking medication but I still have bad days. Hey, people without chronic pain have bad days. We are all human. I want people with chronic pain to know that you may always have chronic pain and some hours of random days may be pretty bad but most days are pretty great. It can be done. Last night, I was miserable but what I have now that I did not have then is hope and a plan.