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Day 8 Day 8

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by elizabethswan, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. elizabethswan

    elizabethswan New Member

    Are you having success at recognizing the emotions connected to your pain? If you have, how do these emotions make you feel? If not, what do you think is preventing you from doing this?

    I think in the back of my mind I was/maybe still am struggling with this a bit because my pain is constant, day to night, does not seem to have significant changes based on my emotions. So its hard to say "ah yes I was really stressed that day so it makes sense my pain was worse".

    At the same time, when I reflect, I realize that on days where my pain is worse, someone from work really agitated me, or I was getting frustrated about my pain not going away, so it got worse. And then when I was on vacation it started to feel better. So I think the way I should be thinking about it is, in my situation the pain is not going to be black and white (either here or not here) but worse or better. instead of a constant 5 it was a constant 7 or a 3. I think this just shows, in a more challenging way to recognize, that it really is about the emotional state. The one thing I do feel like I am struggling with is the "big trigger". I have previously read posts about people emphasizing that you dont need one big life event to pop up in your mind that you repressed, and that it is more about your day to day emotions. I definitely struggle with this because having the "aha!" moment followed by a huge reduction in pain is what a lot of people sound like they have.

    If anyone has any advice for this I'd love to hear it. I know when my pain continued to get worse I was in kind of a spiral about how miserable my back pain was, so I'm almost thinking that those thoughts really perpetuated my symptoms, and once I get rid of those thoughts I would find more relief. but again - I need to focus more on outcome independence, and I am really trying to work on that.
  2. ssxl4000

    ssxl4000 Well known member

    This sounds like a very good realization. Also, remember that once pain becomes chronic and wired into your brain, it no longer needs stress to occur. I used to get bad IBS symptoms when I was stressed, but as the stressful years piled on, it worsened and I became convinced that I had a bad digestive system. Eventually, the pains happened all the time regardless of how I was doing mentally, or what I ate. That's the way those pesky nerve wiring patterns work. It can definitely take time to undo all of that, which certainly can be frustrating.

    Yes...very true! I had one of those "aha!" moments and...it really didn't affect my symptom levels, not in the short term anyway. Some people have one or two BIG issues weighing on them consciously or subconsciously. They may be aware of those issues or not when the start the program. Other people just have all sorts of little stressors that pile up. Either way, the journaling is less about finding that hidden source of your stress (because there may not be one), and more about building the healthy habits of expressing your emotions and thinking about your pain psychologically instead of physically.

    Keep up the good work!
    elizabethswan likes this.
  3. elizabethswan

    elizabethswan New Member

    This is a really great point, thank you so much for sharing!
  4. happyliltrees

    happyliltrees New Member

    Thank you for sharing that point @ssxl4000! That makes a lot of sense to me!
    @elizabethswan Thank you for sharing your experience. I can definitely relate to the all-the-time pain and not experiencing a direct correlation between emotional state and pain intensity.
    elizabethswan likes this.
  5. Deviation

    Deviation New Member

    @elizabethswan thanks for sharing this. I'm on Day 8 as well and do feel like I had one of those big aha moments and uncovered something pretty rough that was hidden away from childhood over the first days of the program. If it's any bit re-assuring to you, the pain didn't magically go away for me, even if my perfectionistic self really wanted things to go that way. I'm trying to tell myself to enjoy the process rather than obsessing over the very positive outcome that many have had, but can certainly empathize with how challenging this is.

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