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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.Β 

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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StaceyCurran
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Yes totally grateful for the days with less pain. Xxx

Jan
Member

I to suffer daily with chronic pain. If it isn’t the head and neck it’s my back, hips and legs. Still pushing thru the pain because I have grandbabies that live with me and their mom. When I’m having it bad I go to my room and close the door and pray they don’t need me.

Laurie Lankins Farley
Member

Beautiful… Indeed

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 πŸ™‚ 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
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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.

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) .

Tiffany Newsome
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Tiffany Newsome

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