Support for Chronic Pain

An Important Note to Self: A Good Outlook

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“Dear Jessica (self)

Don’t get worked up over things you can’t change, people you can’t change.  It’s not worth the anger built up or the headache.  Control only what you can. Let Go.

Love, Jessica (self)

As a society, we live in a realm of fear and worry.  There are very few people I know who live in the present moment and let the small stuff go.  We are constantly thinking: overthinking to the point that we get sick: literally.  For those of us with chronic pain this steady state of worry and fear increase our pain levels which in turn raises our worries and fears:  becoming a never ending cycle. I am at well aware that I do this although cognitively I know I should not look past nor forward and truly believe worrying will never change the outcome and most things we worry about never happen.  Most of the things we worry about we have zero control over.  We had a storm here last night and I would bet a lot of money (if I had a lot) some of my loved ones were worrying if there would be any damage to our home.  It is almost as if we believe the more we worry about something the less likely the thing we are worrying about will not happen.  Quite the contrary.  If a branch is going to fall on our house, there is literally nothing we can do about it.  If our basement has flooding, there is nothing we can do about it.  This is a silly example but it just shows how ridiculous our thoughts are.  How may women do you know that are “trying” to get pregnant but no matter what they do, each month that little pregnancy stick says: NOT PREGNANT.  However, I know copious amounts of women whom when not “trying” to get pregnant are suddenly reading: “PREGNANT.”  I always say, we spend half of our life trying to not get pregnant and the other half trying: my friend and I once joked: (JOKE) “who knew you never needed a condom!” Why have infertility rates gone up?  There are many reasons such as diet, GMO’s in our foods, women are now “trying” to get pregnant in their thirties as opposed to their twenties which was the norm when I was born.  However, I believe one of the biggest reasons is worry and fear.  Just like the law of attraction: we are so worried and consumed with the fear of never having children that the Universe sends us that energy and we actually do become our thoughts.  Over a year ago, following a miscarriage I was literally obsessed with getting pregnant.  I was petrified I would not be able to have more children and Kayci would never have a sibling.  I was so worried and focused on lack of children that there was no possible way I was going to get pregnant.  Even though, I clearly can get pregnant and have no fertility issues aside from a lack of progesterone, which is an easy fix. I have come to a point in my adult life that I refuse to let things such as “getting pregnant” dominate my world.  It will happen when/if it happens and my intuition has yet to fail me so I have let it go and freed myself from that ridiculous fear.  As my dad says: “Don’t believe everything you think.”

One of the most common quotes I use regarding chronic pain is: “Often the fear of pain is worse than the pain itself.”  For example when I used to take pain medication for my invisible illness, I literally felt pain melting away a second after I swallowed Neurontin or Percocet.  The medicine was not even in my system and yet my pain was being relieved.  It was not the medication, it was the fear of pain drifting away.  I am sure many of you are thinking: “Holy …. that is so true.” We are in a constant state of worry about our pain.  Our thoughts revolve around pain, often non stop.  Some of my thoughts used to be: “Oh my God, what if my pain is really bad at this or that event next week?  I should just cancel in case. Shit, I promised I would go. No, I can’t go, I may have a flare up.  Okay, I will cancel, just in case.”   I had already told myself I would have severe pain, so what will happen.  I will have severe pain.  That is one of the biggest issues regarding chronic pain.  Back to the Law of Attraction: we focus on our pain, the fear of pain and we receive more pain.  There is no other way around this.  Anything we continuously focus on: good or bad will become our life.  Sadly, this is usually not for the better.

How many people have you loved in your life that you wanted to change either because whatever he or she was doing caused you pain or because of your love for them?  I have never met a person who did not want to change someone in my life.  This is an impossibility.  For ten years chronic pain dominated my life and for a year prior to me going to the Mayo Clinic, I numbed my pain with alcohol every night with friends.  I know people were worried about me, especially my dad.  This was not Jessica.  My dad was worried all the time but nothing he said or did would change my actions because pain was in control of me and there was not one damn thing a person could say to make me stop numbing my pain.  No one could change me but myself.  I had to hit a rock bottom to wake up and see that there had to be a better way.  When I was numbing my pain, I knew I was a hot mess.  One did not need to tell me how much I was allowing chronic pain to destroy my life.  I had to change myself, no one was able to change me: that goes for each and every one of us.  Let that go.  Trying to change anyone will leave you depleted, depressed, anxious, and your pain will be much more difficult with each attempt to change another. Focus on yourself and I promise the rest will follow.  Anger (which is really built up hurt) increases physical pain. Trying to change a person (impossible) will become infuriating and the tension and anger will build and build until you are the one who needs to change because your body just cannot take added pain and stress.

I know that all of this is so much easier said than done.  Trust me.  This is something I struggle with all the time but it is one of my top goals this year.  I am exhausted from worrying about the future and trying to help people who do not see a problem and do not want me to help.  I need to use that energy to heal myself and allow the Universe to take it’s natural course.  History has taught me, everything works out and I need to start having more faith and less fear.

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