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Do You Need Help Escaping Never-Ending Chronic Pain?

Pain is not my enemy. It is my teacher.

I am in some level of pain every day.

Some days it is a full-blown migraine where every thought hurts and my day is spent in bed wishing for relief. While other days it is just a tickle of discomfort in various areas of my body, most often my neck and jaw. I am grateful for the tickle days as it frees up some energy so I can invest in things that I love. Although rare, I do have pain free moments and those are a great gift.

I view pain much like I view my ego.

It is there chattering away and doing its best to bring me down. Over the years, I thought fighting, being angry, and resisting the pain would somehow scare it away, which as you can imagine never happened. I have since decided to accept that pain is part of my experience in this life, and although some days it overcomes me, I do my best not to succumb to its darkness.

I am writing this because I am just coming out of two weeks of intense daily pain which included a 5-day migraine. As I look back, a moment vividly returns. I was in excruciating, blinding pain attempting to make my daughter’s lunch for school. I would lay my head on the counter, take a few deep breaths and attempt to put together her sandwich. I pushed through long enough to get my kids on their way and then retreated back to bed. This moment reminded me that our struggles can provide such profound learning and discovery.

Pain has offered me a clear understanding of what strength means and how I can use my pain to live a positive life. 

1. Determination

For anyone who has been in a twelve round boxing match with pain it can feel like an eternity of blows up against the ropes. What I have learned in my own pain journey is that there is always an opening to strike back. Sometimes it doesn’t show up until the 12th round, but the opening always appears. It takes determination and perseverance to stay in the game and wait for the break, despite the risk of blows. Pain has given me a fighting spirit and I will never give up on life.

2. Stop and slow down

Pain forces me to stop and prioritize. I cannot complete everything that I desire when I am struggling with pain, and therefore I have to pick and choose the most important things in order to survive the day. Pain has given me the gift of taking a step back and investing in what matters rather than just checking off the to do list boxes mindlessly. Pain forces me to slow things down, allows me opportunities to be mindful, and gives me access to presence.

3. Awareness

I am very aware of what is happening in my body at all times. Living with chronic pain has opened me up to an acute sense of awareness and it has also given me a curious spirit when in the presence of others. I understand that there may be much going on behind the surface because most of us who live with chronic pain look ‘normal’ and healthy, when in reality the suffering is great. With awareness comes a new perspective: compassion and empathy for others and for myself.

4. Gratitude

Living with chronic pain is hard and at times it has worn me down. I admit I have struggled with bouts of depression and often succumb to negativity during the really rough times. What I have noticed over the years is that I am grateful for the pain because it gives me the opportunity to really notice and appreciate the less painful days. I drink in the moments that I can play with my kids or engage in physical activities without pain. I am grateful that I am able to live fully in the days of less pain. Taking a moment to reflect on what I am grateful for connects me to what matters and this is when I am most present.

I invite you to reflect on your own boxing match. What are you in the ring with and what has it taught you about your own strength?

Pain is not my enemy. It is my teacher.

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Kim Standeven

Kim Standeven ACC, BA ia a Wellness & Leadership Coach, Author, Speaker, Facilitator,Thought Leader

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Sherryramlogan9
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Sherryramlogan9

Morning….what a wonderful and I will say accurate artice on pain and how we can’t give up in life regardless of a situation that may enter our doors…we will always face challenges in life and at these times we really know how strong we are….my way is that I serve god more and my faith is all in his hands…”Namaste”

Gail Liming
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Gail Liming

Although I’ve never had unrelenting pain like yourself, I do know of an individual who has neuropathy and says it attacks every nerve ending in his body, feeling like many needles are going through his body. His attitude is probably similar to yours, he rarely complains, with a good attitude. I admire your courage despite the constant pain you’re enduring which takes a strong individual to cope with that. I can’t offer anything else, thanks for sharing your insightful thoughts.

Sole
Member

Great Article, very uplifting and inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

Suzan Muhialdeen
Guest
Suzan Muhialdeen

Very useful article,i think it is necessary to deal with any kind of pain which could be physicaly or emontialy with patience ,optimistic ,accepted it ,and believe that this pain will not last forever but it is a temporary situation ,and when the person over comes this pain he or she will learn from it to be more stronger and wise ,because as the quote said ( every cloud has a silver lining) .

Angeliki Anastasia
Member

I truly Admire, Your strength and your Incredible Love ❤️ 💕 💗 towards Life!!! You, Gorgeous Kim, have conquered the 12 Labours of Hercules with incredible Success!!! Congratulations!!! Once I met a very wise man who was 98 years old!!! His name was Gregorio!!! He Always looked like a real Gentleman!!! One beautiful, sunny 🌞 day I asked him how he was feeling and he replied with great wisdom!!! I feel pain everywhere, but I am very grateful because pain reminds me that I am Alive!!! ❤️🏆❤️🏆🥇🥇🙏🙏🌹🌹🦋⭐️⭐️💗🦄🦄💕🌈💝💐🌿🌺🦋

Kim Schweitzer
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Kim Schweitzer

My life has completely changed in the last 2 years due to chronic pain. I have found a wonderful opportunity to try and experience the blessings of complete nutrition and its Anti-inflammatory properties that has really helped me a great deal with my pain! Although it is not completely erased all pain so I am studying nutrition, trying diet modification and praying for healing ! I am very aware of my blessings that I took for granted before.
I believe that as God stretches me in this new part of my life that I will experience healing and knowledge I would have never known otherwise. I am looking forward to helping other people overcome their pain and rejoice with them in their healing and the new opportunities that creates!
God bless your day!
Be good to yourself 💖
Kim Schweitzer

Fran Merkh
Member

Maybe the detachment at all cost could be less yielding to a let it flow freedom. When your mind is in so much pain let people love you.

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

I have a lot of neuropathy pain especially when my blood sugar is too high. Some days are worse than others. Take one day at a time and manage as best as I can.

Tiffany Newsome
Guest
Tiffany Newsome

Pain has definitely taught me how and when to slow down, be more aware and in tune with myself and my environment.

Margo
Member

My chronic pain is emotional more than physical. But, I am troubled by lower back pain and take medication for it. It must be awful for people who are sufferers of worse physical pain than myself. I hope they find some comfort.

Jo Davis
Member

This article is great. The boxing match is dead on when talking about pain. Its really nice to read an honest perspective on the topic! Thank you, Kim!

Kara
Member

Thank you ! I Appreciate this Very Much .Very Good Article.

michelle
Guest
michelle

im so sorry to hear of your pain not nice bless you glad to hear its much better for you now 🙂 i can relate to quite alot of this artical thank you for sharing like yourself i suffered from pain from my past that from time does creep back in i also have bad days but more so good overall now i needed to hear more on this topic as it is very useful to myself my progress among praying to our holy god above for his gudiness and to just thank him for everything

Paulina C. Bagunas
Guest
Paulina C. Bagunas

There are many kinds of pain but the most painful is a pain of the heart. Just kidding. We don’t know what to do when something aching from our body parts. Head ache is the most common pain. We need to do something to ease the pain. But to relate it to our daily life. It is one way of preparing our self for the best. The way is painful but the fruit is success. God bless.

Dee S.
Guest
Dee S.

After thirty years, the pain is still constant, and intense everyday, and some days, worse, even with meds. What I have learned has been to rely on God’s strength for everything, every day. My walk with God has gotten closer, which makes it worth it all. It has also made me more aware and compassionate to others who are suffering.

Margo
Member

I’m in constant pain emotionally. There’s no escape from cruel and nasty people. I’m surrounded by them. This morning I wasn’t sure if I could carry on feeling this way. I don’t see a light st the end of the tunnel at the moment. It’s relentless. I’ve got horrible neighbours, no one cares about me, and abusive Father. The list goes on, and it’s been ongoing for many years now. Surely there are better things in life. I’m sick of cliches and people advising me what to do. No one understands.

Tiffany Newsome
Guest
Tiffany Newsome

@ Margo Have you learned how to separate yourself and let go of the ones that cause so much pain? Are you aware of the fact that even the slightest amount of energy you give to any part of the negativity can also affect your emotions and health? I have not research this subject in its entirety, When you have a chance I’d like for you to research books and articles on ” Laws of Attraction.” Then when you have an opportunity, I’d like for you to connect or re-connect to God in some fashion and then take time to discover or rediscover who you are and spend time loving you and doing things you like to do. It can be bird watching, going to a movie, concert, park. There has to be something wholesome and refreshing you like and that available to you.

LottieChorman
Member

Very good Article . I have RSD in my right hand and arm . Now 20 + years . Yes i did the bed thing for awhile , took meds for pain . Did not do much as i felt like i was being electrocuted. I was missing out on my life . I had a good long talk with my self and said you are giving up so much . Do not let this illness Win . I got off all the meds . I noticed the pain was the same maybea little better . I started living again . I found so much happines . Life is Great . I still have very bad pain but found it is all in your outlook. I enjoy my Grandchildren so much . I wear my self out with the Good things life has to offer . When i have quite time and feel the pain taking over . I reflect on the good and what i have to look forward to . I do have a Great Higher Power .that helps also . Now during my quite time i am getting to know me again . The new me . I found out i like this person . Negativity is out of my life . I have lost friends but thats ok .i can no longer tolerate it . This is a good thing . I do go for nerve blocks every 3 mounts .this helps .

IonePalmer
Member

I also struggle with physical chronic pain daily. my hip, pelvis, and legs from a slip and fall injury. It has been 5 long years and never gets any better; I won’t take painkillers, I simply “grin and bear” it.

countrytillie
Member

This was a well needed dose of positive reality, as it seems my day has started out in a positive light with all the positive re-inforcements and wisdom from other’s like yourself. I have been suffering with chronic pain also, but with personal issues such as divorce, continuous health ailments and the struggles also of getting through each day, and not going back to the negative state I was in for over 8 years, even though this past relationship ended in a hurtful manner – I am blessed to still be here and oddly have been intuitive to the positive although the negative is still there. Your insite and words along with advice on how to push through are greatly appreciated, although realizing it is okay to recognize and ponder those negative feelings but how crucial it is to move forward and integrqate it into something positive, Learn to reflect in a different manner. Thank you, for being positive.

CandaceAlcorn
Member

Great article, and thank you for putting words to my struggle. My pain feels like it is it is everywhere, and it is insidious. It’s like a symphony orchestra with some of the instrument sections taking center stage, while others are silent. And then occasionally they are all playing at once! I have endeavored to be positive and smile anyhow, as I live with it every day. It seems to me, the alternative is to lay in a heap and be angry. I use and have used alternative therapies, a personal trainer, allowable prescriptions, plus over the counter meds … just so I can sleep. I keep searching for ways to increase my quality of life, but have recently accepted my mobility has become compromised. I remember reading, when younger, that losing mobility is the main fear of senior citizens. I thought that meant no longer being able to drive, and I’m sure that is also true. It never entered my head it might mean not being able to get out of a chair easily or having trouble moving once you do stand up.

Nancy Rodman
Member

Thank you so very much. It really helped me understand what I’m going through. I’m suffering from PTSD and have had to lose it all mentally to rebuild my life and find out about myself. Your article helped in so many ways. I shared it to my new facebook account and added my explanation to it so that my trusted friends and family that are going through this journey of clawing my way out of the darkness can understand what i was doing for so many years but also how it effected me in the long run. I can’t tell you thank you enough because you helped me understand me!!!!