“CHRONIC PAIN CAN HAVE UPSIDES”
Physical pain. Turns your life upside down while it lasts. Instead of concentrating on having fun or getting your job done, a person experiencing pain suddenly finds themself with a new goal. Getting rid of it – now. Aspirin, painkillers, bedrest, anything, - you name it, we want it.
But let’s look at those who live with chronic pain – the kind that their doctor has been unable to help so far, and not much hope that it will be taken away soon.
When you talk to sufferers of chronic pain, you find that there seem to be a few characteristics that are part and parcel of the whole experience. Like feelings of impatience, resentment, envy, bitterness, hopelessness and eventually, depression. Not exactly the stuff of dreams for anyone. Slogging thru life with the burden of pain, and then adding on that emotional baggage…it is no wonder they can have a tough time with just coping.
But when that person decides to just keep going, no matter the odds, as time passes they can find that there have been a few upsides, after all. They learn as they look back over the years that they have been offered the chance to experience some positive personality changes. If they have allowed it, chronic pain can do some personal work like little else can.
Hopefully they will recognize themselves as being a little more compassionate for others who are physically hurting in some way. Kindness and caring will usually be the offshoots of that compassion. For example, nothing like suffering with a migraine to enable a person to feel for another’s blinding headache.
Most chronic sufferers will find they develop more patience and long-suffering. After all, what choice have they had in the matter? They have had to learn to just deal with their problem. Sulking and/or throwing a fit doesn’t change anything.
Another positive change in their personality will probably be more courage. An individual can’t live with inescapable pain without developing determination and resolve to make it thru and do what has to be done, no matter what.
Chronic pain will also bring out a person’s creativity. No one else but you can find the tiny ways to help yourself that bring about a smidgen of physical relief. A certain pillow placed at just the right angle, a particular writer or tv show that has a way of capturing your attention and taking you out of your pain-filled world for a little while, an ice-pack or hot pack tucked into a particular spot for a few minutes. These kinds of things are discovered only by the sufferer themselves.
Real need sparks real creativity over time.
Sufferers of chronic physical pain, take a look back in time. If you have allowed living with pain to change you for the better, you can be proud of yourself. You have made positive contributions to the lives of other people in ways you never even realized.