11.2% of Americans suffer from chronic pain daily that last over three months. How to begin managing amongst chronic pain either physical or mental.
Things don’t always go as planned.
Picture a Mandy Moore sappy love story where the beautiful sick young woman weeps in physical pain in a blanket of lilies and roses while being held by Ryan Goslings look alike.
This is not how my story looks.
Standing in the kitchen kissing my man.
I got this, I have enough strength to make love.
We walk to the bedroom and I am struck with a blank stare.
How am I going to get in bed?
I turn my body parallel left and right and back and forward. Helpless to make any movement knowing that whatever way I forcefully flop and flounder onto the bed with be followed my excruciating pain shooting throughout my body.
I make it.
I cry- totally embarrassment of my feeling anything but sexy. Bloated, gassy from the medications and uncomfortable in my own skin. Let alone humiliated by the sequence of events over the last few moments.
I wake up scared to move my body in any way. Knowing that whatever I do will be followed by a shooting pain worste than the now throbbing pain that has taken over half my body. After not moving for the last couple hours my body is hard and tight. I have to figure out a way to the bathroom. After what seems like forever, I muster the strength to move. Grab the side of the bed and carefully inch my way out. Crunched over I shuffle to the bathroom in the dark.
Standing in front of the toilet perplexed.
How can I devise this plan to go pee without sitting?
Hum… Bend one leg, lean sideways, sit half ways on the seat, cross fingers and pray for safe delivery.
Spottiness hits my eyes- weak- falling- blindly touch the floor with my hands to stop me. Out.
I wake up from the faint, unable to move but comforted the cold file floor. Make my way up to slowly pacing the bedroom, gasping breaths with tears of pain.
My day begins with only a couple hours of sleep. Knowing that if I go back into bed and rest, my muscles will freeze and this crappy cycle will begin again.
How many more lonely weeks will this last? Something has got to give. Will my body actually heal itself, like it’s perfectly designed to do? Frustrated that just weeks ago I was holding plank challenges with myself squatting almost double my body weight, dancing, jumping- comfortable in my own skin.
Perspective slap- I have been on the sidelines in chronic pain for a little more than a month. 25.3 million adults, 11.2% of Americans suffer from chronic pain daily that last over three months. Toss me a broken or an autoimmune disease, I can deal. But daily pain that takes over my thoughts and strength, it’s too much. Talk about a new level of compassion for others. Reinforcing the fact that we will never know the wars everyone is fighting below the skin. How do so many not only manage but also thrive so damn well amongst chronic pain either physical or mental?
My bets are on compassion, pure compassion.
It’s like when I loose touch of this tender aspect of life I get blindsided.
Compassion and grace for myself with my now slower pace of life. Allowing this humbling experience to run its course and learning how different life can be when you have a major holdback. Asking for help instead of expecting everyone to telepathically read my mind. Knowing that this too shall pass. I will never know the true pains of another but might now feel a little deeper for them.
What pain are you secretly holding to yourself? What if you had a little more tender compassion for that person or yourself?
I am a novice at this self-compassion and slowing down piece. Learning that pushing yourself physically or mentally isn’t the point of this game. Living a little slower in my desert oasis seems to be my new norm. My practice is to pair this slower pace with compassion. Learning again and again that I will never know the pains of another.