This may make uneasy reading but…
I ‘d like to share it with you.
Sometimes, our ‘sudden’, awful pain begins small.
A twinge that comes and quickly goes. Then another twinge, maybe a bit more painful this time.
And on it goes, building up each time until ‘suddenly’ you’re hit with awful pain.
What I want to share with here is news about chronic pain. Take a look at these three important things about pain and see what you think. But before you do that a reminder that the first thing to do if you have health concerns is go see your doctor.
#1 Pain is NOT a Badge of Honour
Pain is good. It’s character building. It sorts the men from the boys.
No wait, what am I saying? That’s not what I meant to say at all. Let me try again.
Pain is not a badge of honour. It’s not something to ignore and simply ‘soldier on’. Pain ignored becomes chronic pain. It affects your sleep. It interrupts your relationships. It disturbs your work. It stops your fun.
In short, pain slowly and sneakily erodes your life.
#2 Pain is Your Best Friend
Pain is your best friend. The kind of best friend that’ll really tell you how it is. The one who tells you straight; “No, a bar of Fruit & Nut does not count as one of your five a day”.
In the beginning it’s pretty well-mannered. It starts by sending you a polite message, that twinge, for example that says “I’m awfully sorry to bother you but I think there’s something going on here”.
But, hey you’re busy, so you don’t bother to answer.
What is pain to do now?
It can’t go away because that’d leave you unprotected and defenseless.
Well, bless its heart it doesn’t give up on you. It sends you another message, with the volume turned up.
“HEY, I really think something is going on here that you should CHECK out. That arm of ours, shouldn’t feel all WEAK and HEAVY just because we’ve been drawing”.
What do you do with that second chance? Listen and act on it?
Or add it to your To Do list labelled ‘For some point in the future when I’m not so busy’?
Choose to ignore it and here’s what happens. Pain comes a-calling wearing Size 12 boots and takes up residence, squat bang in the middle of your life.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. And here’s why:
#3 Pain is a Great Teacher
If you’re in pain, then reading Pain is a Great Teacher, may be a very difficult thing to hear. When I have migraine and I’m throwing up, do I think “What a great learning opportunity this is”? No, funnily enough, I don’t. I just want it to stop.
It’s only in the days afterwards that I start to reflect. What warning pain messages did I not listen to?
And that really is where it all starts. Learning to listen to your body. And it’s important because that pain message is a message from you to you. You’re not just a brain that has to lump this thing called a body around. You are your body and your body is you.
Learning to listen to ourselves may not always be easy but, with practice it is possible. You can learn to listen with a sense of curiosity and kindness towards yourself. And that’s fantastic, because when listen you give yourself the opportunity to do something wonderful for YOU.
I hope this encourages you to take that important first step of learning how to listen to yourself. What’s your experience? Do you already listen to yourself? I’d love to hear from you; please share in the comment box below.
And, remember to get in touch with me to learn how I can help you to take control of chronic migraine pain.