“Continued attention to a problem attracts it to your experience. You must try and remove yourself from it.”
I have been writing about my journey with chronic pain for quite some time now: over two years I believe and I swear friends, former co-workers, and even family members have come out of the wood work saying: “I had no idea you had chronic pain. I am so sorry.” Some did not even know about my bike accident/brain surgery. There are two reasons for this: the first not being a positive one. While searching for a cure in my teen/early twenties I did not want people to know about chronic pain so I held all that pain inside, only exposing it to very close family members, a couple friends, and clearly doctors. I looked “normal” and healthy on the outside once my hair grew back and my scars were hidden: I wanted to fit in and I was scared no one would believe me, or I was going nuts, or I would be made fun of more than I already was following my accident. So I pretended chronic pain didn’t exist. I went out to parties with everyone else and drank and partied and on the outside looking in, it appeared I had the ‘normal’ teenage/young adult problems. Chronic pain was not a common term during these years and it took my rock bottom and driving to Rochester, MN: Mayo Clinic to even hear the term chronic pain. I liked that there was a name for it, I did not like that there was not a cure. I despised the doctor who told me I should enter the pain rehab center for a month and learn how to live/manage/and accept my invisible illness. He never used that four letter word that meant more to me than the word LOVE even: he never said CURE. I owe this doctor my life. My HATE for lack of the term CURE has turned into a LOVE of life. Four letter words have so many differences. I now choose LOVE.
So, what is the second reason I do not talk about pain and work hard not to focus on my invisible illness: the quote by Abraham Hicks pretty much sums it up. I was introduced to the works of Abraham and the Law of Attraction many years after I learned how to heal/manage/cope and accept chronic pain. I was successfully taught that the more I brought attention to my pain, the more the pain signals body flew directly to my brain causing the pain to escalate along with the feelings that come with chronic pain: fear, anxiety, depression, etc. The cycle of this invisible illness can have no ending until you find your circle of life as opposed to your circle of pain. We are not always cognizant of our bringing forth attention to our pain as we have been practicing pain behaviors for years upon years. I still find my husband taking my hand away from my face as I massage it in bed before I fall asleep. I no longer talk about pain for a much healthier reason post Mayo Clinic. If I complain about pain or anything for that matter over and over again because let’s face it despite having chronic pain we are all human and have the same issues as most of society so there can be a lot of negative crap to bring attention towards. What is that going to do? Talking/complaining/catastrophizing and thinking about pain constantly will only bring me more pain and that goes along with anything I do not want in my life. That is why I use distractions, live a life I am proud of, and finally listen to my body instead of listening to my pain body. This may all sound very confusing and again please email me with questions/concerns or just to vent. Try for today to notice what your personal pain behaviors are: talking about pain, stretching certain areas constantly, grunting, laying in bed for hours thinking about pain, rubbing certain areas of your body that hurt, using ice packs or heating pads constantly: anything that brings attention to your pain. I am not asking you to change your behaviors: just notice what you do during your day that either brings attention to your pain to yourself or others.