In honor of Pain Awareness Month, I continue my blog series on healing chronic pain. In healing from chronic pain, Lady Gaga spoke to the importance of self-care in healing chronic pain.
Finding a solution to chronic pain can seem like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. There are very few doctors that really seem to specialize in non-pharmaceutical modalities. Many prescribe opiates, benzodiazepines, or anti-depressants. Medication serves to cover or even compound the chronic pain, but does not address the root of the problem.
People with chronic pain will push through and live life the best way they know how. Take note of Lady Gaga’s recent revelation that she will soon take a rest to heal. With a history of abuse, fibromyalgia, and a hip injury, Lady Gaga is feeling the burden of being the free creative soul that she is amid what can often seem like walking through fog when chronic pain is along for the ride. We are the sum of our experiences, and we carry the imprints of past issues that remain unresolved in our bodies as chronic pain.
We may want to live the fullest life possible – damn the pain – but at some point we need to stop and confront the pain itself. Lady Gaga described pain as a microphone, and I couldn’t agree more. So long as we run from the pain, it will keep chasing after us. The thing is, sooner or later the pain will run us down. The more we try to hide it, ignore it, suppress it, or numb it, the louder the signal can become until we finally come to our knees and say, “Enough!” That was the turning point for me.
We should certainly not feel alone in suffering from chronic pain. One in every four Americans suffers from chronic pain. However, as one who walked through and out of it, I can tell you from experience that each of us is alone at that moment when we decide we have come to a point where we can no longer push through or ignore the pain. This true point of surrender to what we feel inside is the beginning of the journey back to health.
Self-care is almost a paradox to a chronic pain patient, yet it is precisely what we need to implement if we want to heal. We are used to pushing through life and going against our own grain. I know I did. I rested when the pain raised such an alarm that I had no other choice but to surrender to it. I had to rest. Then as soon as the pain receded to the old ‘background’ level, I got up and began living my life again. Taking care of my family and going to work. Self-care came as a last resort. If we want to heal, we need to switch our priorities around and bring ourselves front and center.
I detail the steps to self-care that I used myself in this blog. In addition to the measures I discuss in that blog, I share with you here the 12 Steps to Wellness developed by Dr. Peter Przekop. They are the heart of self-care and healing from chronic pain.
1) None of us were born to suffer.
2) We all have the ability to heal.
3) Love with yourself with all your heart.
4) Get real about your healing.
5) Commit to your healing.
6) Do the work it takes to heal.
7) Do the work every day.
8) Get real about your healing (in case you missed 4).
9) Never let anyone or anything get in the way of your healing.
10) Love yourself fiercely and without reservation.
11) Accept what is.
12) Be grateful for all that comes your way and more will be revealed.
For more self-care help in healing, visit https://elizabeth-kipp.com/category/elizabeths-blog/