Coping with Pain – or Trying to – 1

Back very bad. The first time I have rated pain at a 9, so observing how I cope to pass it on to my friend.

First, I have to tell myself that every day is not like this, notice am instinctively avoiding the pessimism pitfalls observed by Martin Seligman, labeling it:

  • Permanent – it will always be like this
  • Pervasive – everything is bad
  • Personal – it is my fault

On the whole, telling myself something firmly doesn’t work too well – I think I don’t convince myself and also feel pushed, which has always made me mulish! So what I have to do is move my being out of the trough of pain to a place “above and beyond”, something that seemed almost impossible at first, but is getting easier each time. Now I know that place exists and that I can choose to be there. It cuts away the clutter of negative thought.

Then look for wiggle room – there must be some action I can take. Today, codeine andOpen Focus. The codeine made no difference, so two hours later I did Open Focus and that helped a lot.

It is important that I am flexible and mix and match what I do. After all, it doesn’t matter if I stop after peeling carrots and lie down and play patience for a time, then go back to chop beans. Unless I allow it to matter.

It really helps to keep an accepting frame of mind. I mind everything much more if I am comparing what I can do with other people. I read an interesting book that suggested that depression, which is far higher in the have countries, is exacerbated because we compare ourselves all the time with others. So we are not as interested in how good our car is as we are in whether our neighbour has a better one! So I have to try to concentrate on the enjoyment of what I am doing, which may be very trivial, not what I think my neighbour is doing, like lunch out, volunteering or shopping with friends.

Am trying hard to have a peaceful, accepting frame of mind, that doesn’t kick against the pricks. Also very important to be able to help others – takes me out of victim role and makes me feel useful, a great antidote. Today was able to send research on sinus infections and also listen too, via email, a friend’s family problems and offer some consolation.

Don’t know if this answers my friend – and if it is any help. I hope it doesn’t come across self-satisfied, because it certainly is the fruit of months of mental questioning, trial and a lot of error. It worked today, but it has to continue working for years to come. I hope it will and that life will still be deeply rewarding then.

About UntraveledRoads

Fascinated by life, looking for answers to chronic pain and finding unexpected gifts. Interested in people, ideas, healing and humour. I am very happily married with three children and a kitten. As English born immigrants to Canada, we have family spread overseas, a daughter in South Africa and one in England. We also run a charity in South Africa to educate black, rural South African Women. Our first girl from a rural township has just graduated as an accountant from Johannesburg University and got a good job in a bank.
This entry was posted in back pain, books that caught my mind, chronic pain, coping with pain, pain, pain - coping techniques, pain relief, therapies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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