For someone suffering with chronic pain, it might be hard to visualize not being a victim of such circumstance right now, yet it is possible to rise out of victimhood in chronic pain.
Some of my friends dealing with chronic pain have told me that they cannot find the momentum to uphold the resolutions they made for 2021. Even after only one week has passed, they expressed their frustration that they had just given up on the whole resolution thing. They feel they are victims of what is happening to them and they feel powerless to do anything to change it. They are unable to vision themselves rising above the victimhood of chronic pain.
“Resolutions – they’re not for me.”
“I can’t seem to gain any traction to change.”
“I’m so tired of the pain. It’s always there. And I feel like I am its prisoner. I doesn’t change, so how can I change?”
These statements come from deep within someone who suffers with chronic pain. And they come from deep within the part of our realm where fear lives.
Chronic pain at this level feels overwhelming. It sure was for me. I remember asking myself, “what will become of me?” and “will this ever end” and saying, “I’m not at all sure I can go on like this for much longer.”
Here’s a passage from a chronic pain sufferer who wrote to me of their experience:
“I’m so tired of it. It’s like a silent being, always nearby. And then it starts to move in and it’s like it’s waving to me. I just want to beat it to a pulp. And before you know it, I’m down for the count. For me, its like God is saying, ‘You’re down. I’m stopping you in your tracks’ and there’s not one thing you can do about it. It’s a feeling of total incapacitation. It is the most frightening experience. I am humiliated by it. And I am further frustrated with myself that I’ve allowed it to win yet again. I always know it will be there lurking for me.
I’m not able to really explain this to anyone. Perhaps you, Elizabeth, will understand.”
Rising Above the Victimhood of Chronic Pain
I am here to challenge this position. I am here to help you reclaim your healing power in the face of your chronic pain.
How does one gain momentum in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming force? Is it even possible to find enough traction to change the momentum of chronic pain and move towards healing?
Do not let 2021 go by and be one more year of stress, overwhelm, and chronic pain.
Here are some suggestions to help you change the trajectory of the chronic pain in your life.
The suffering ends when you’re ready for it to end. The suffering ends when you are ready to change. If you want things to change, you are going to have to take different actions than those you’ve been taking. It’s that simple. I remember asking myself, “clearly what you are doing now isn’t working; why not take a contrary action?”
What kinds of change might constitute a shift in momentum for us in chronic pain?
Well, the experience of chronic pain is hard… and so, we must ask ourselves the hard questions. Here is one of those hard questions for you:
What are you doing to contribute to your experience of chronic pain?
Our friend above stated that
1) the pain would always be there
2) she was fiercely angry with the pain
3) she was fiercely angry with herself
4) she was powerless over her pain
Let’s break those beliefs down … for that is what those were – beliefs.
“I know it will always be there lurking for me” – This is an incredibly powerful statement. The “always” implies past, present, and future, and it implies a commitment to the belief by saying “I know.” Do you really want to give your power away to the pain like this?
“I just want to beat it to a pulp” – This is another potent statement. Here the sufferer is consumed with anger, which feeds the negativity already present in chronic pain. Next, there is a complete lack of acceptance of the current lived experience. In essence, she is saying, “I do not like what I am experiencing, and I am furious about it.” When one is swimming in an ocean, does one fight with the waves? Or does one learn to accept that the wave is what it is and then try to go with the wave rather that against it? So it is with the chronic pain experience. When we learn to release our judgment about the pain, we are in a much better position to release any additional tension we have brought into our experience.
“I’m frustrated with myself that I’ve allowed the pain to win again” — Now, the chronic pain sufferer is in a fight with themselves. Does this feel like a healthy, winning strategy?
“There’s nothing I can do about it” – What a powerful this statement is. The chronic pain sufferer has now determined that there is NO solution – ever. Again, this is a commitment to a position, to a belief about the situation. But it is just that – a belief. We can change our beliefs and therefore change our world. This is certainly true in the realm of the suffering in chronic pain.
So, I ask you as someone trying to cope with chronic pain –
Are you ready to own what you are adding to your chronic pain experience? And are you ready to change your beliefs around your situation?
If we want to rise out of the victimhood of chronic pain, we need to dig deeply into ourselves and find the courage to look at what we are bringing to the table and then take action to shift our old beliefs. This is the way to turn the direction of the chronic pain experience, gain traction and momentum in reclaiming the healing power that lives miraculously within us.
You can read more about this in my book “The Way Through Chronic Pain: Tools to Reclaim Your Healing Power”