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Determining when pain starts

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Livinginhope, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Livinginhope

    Livinginhope Peer Supporter

    I am now on my tenth day of SEP and repeatedly, I am being asked to look at when your pain starts and try to reflect back to what is happening at that point. I find this extremely difficult as I am ALWAYS in pain. It is not as though I have a tortured thought and then the pain begins; I go to sleep with it, I wake up with it and I walk through it. I am telling myself that I am not going to allow the pain to keep me from doing anything that I want to do so it might as well disappear, but it really doesn't. Very occasionally, when I am walking and talking to a friend, I don't focus on the pain as much and I don't feel it as much, but it is always there, lurking in the foreground or background. Any suggestions on how to approach this question for those of us who always have the pain would be most appreciated.
    browndogisinthehouse likes this.
  2. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Perhaps, rather than trying to identify when the pain starts, you might notice when the pain is less. This isn't as straightforward as it sounds. We don't always notice so much when pain diminishes and we very much notice when it raises its voice. So when it does shout out is when you realize it hadn't been so bad a few moments before. What were you doing when it wasn't so bad? What were you thinking, or not thinking? Where was your focus?

    For me, personally, I would have to restructure the request to fit the way my mind works. We are each unique in how we process information. It is a matter of finding the right combination of words or images that makes sense to you.

    Fear plays the strongest role of all. Fear-thoughts are insidious and weave intricate webs through our emotions. You say "but it is always there, lurking .... " and that is the fear snaring the emotions. I know those emotions, that dark awareness of the lurking. It can invoke a hopelessness when I let that word infiltrate. I no longer allow 'lurking'. The moment it appears, I imagine a starburst of light radiating in all directions. Sometimes through that light I can gain some insight, but sometimes I just breathe in relief.

    This does not mean the pain is not there. It means the fear of the pain has been released.

    When you look at the pain, are you observing it or are you immersed in it?

    Ten days. Twenty days. Months. This journey of discovery, this journey of uncovering our buried emotions ... it is a long journey. It is both terrifying and beautiful. To have survived this far, to still be here, to be seeking .... this reveals tremendous strength and courage.

    In these ten days, you have shown your tenacity, and your powerful desire to take charge of your own destiny.

    Keep exploring. There are amazing people in this forum and they each have different perspectives to offer. Someone will speak the magical combination of words that resonates with you, and that 'ahhhh' moment will shift your own perspective. Be patient ... it will happen.

    Above all this, be kind to yourself, and compassionate.
    You can do this.

    .... with Love and Gratitude
  3. Livinginhope

    Livinginhope Peer Supporter

    Dear Lily Rose,

    Thank you so much for your response. I think that what you said makes a lot of sense, especially about whether I am observing the pain or immersed in it. That really resonated with me. Unfortunately, sometimes I find that I wear this pain as a martyr. I am so used to it that perhaps I am reluctant to let it go. Is that based on fear as to what I will replace that pain with; more pain from an emotional perspective? I call my pain a "familiar discomfort", I don't like the pain, but it is familiar and I know that I can live with it. The real question is whether I can live without it?
    healingfromchronicpain and plum like this.
  4. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    You have just demonstrated your willingness to be utterly honest with yourself, and with others. This question is one of the many 'root' questions we must address. Who will I be? What will I be? What do I really want?

    We cannot remove old habits and familiar comforts (or discomforts) without something immediately available to fill that space. I call it 'mulling' over my tools. I envision all my tools, and set up a sort of check list to follow. I set goals for the day, for the week, for the month, for the season .... and some goals will gather momentum while others will fall away as 'a good idea but just not practical'. Some goals are achieved more easily than others, which is why the longer terms are set out there.

    But still .... the hardest of all this is envisioning who you want to be. What is your 'ideal'? Where and how do you start that? After all, what are you if this pain is no longer there? It is so much a part of your identity. If it goes away, where do you go?

    Don't rush this. Mull on it. Feel it rather than 'think' it. Let your heart roam into areas you didn't think were accessible to you. Let the vision of it grow until you can touch it often enough that it doesn't disintegrate. (This happened to me often. I would grasp at an image of myself and it would wisp away like smoke). It is like playing with an energy globe between your palms. First your hands are barely touching and you can feel the energy. If you pull your palms away too fast, you lose touch with it. But pulsing the palms gently near each other, and in tiny tiny tiny increments drawing further apart, the energy will expand and grow with you.

    You may also imagine how you would counsel a beloved friend. If someone came to you for help such as you are seeking, what would be your advice to that person of your heart? We are so much more compassionate towards others while we easily eviscerate ourselves.

    Who will you be if the pain is gone? That is completely within your power to decided.

    Believe in yourself.
    You ARE worthy.
    And you are Loved.

    .... with Love and Gratitude <3
    healingfromchronicpain and plum like this.
  5. Livinginhope

    Livinginhope Peer Supporter

    Wow. Just reading your words made me a bit anxious, which is an indication that it is flying a bit close to the fire. Were that not the truth, I would simply think of something glib to say and dismiss the response. So thank you for passing your wisdom along.
    I practice qigong daily as a way to calm myself so when you mentioned the energy between the palms, it hit home. Thank you again for weighing in on my situation. I so appreciate it.
    healingfromchronicpain and plum like this.
  6. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Qigong is a wonderful practice.

    Since you are familiar with the energy between the palms, I would like to take this a step further (and perhaps Qigong already does this?) ~ When you have generated the energy between your palms, and they are about 8 to 12 inches apart and you still feel the energy, very very slowly rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing your body. Come in closer, allowing that energy to flood over your heart. If you still feel that energy, then again, with slow intention, begin moving your hands over areas your body that you are drawn towards. You can also separate your hands so that two areas are experiencing this amazing energy that you are generating.

    When you feel the energy slipping or diminishing, go back to your palms facing each other and rebuild the ball. You can do this energy work over any part of your body that needs healing. You are your own healer, and this is another avenue for nurturing and self-compassion.

    And, you are most welcome. I believe that it is important to support each other, and to share any information that may help. Ultimately, your health affects me. We are all connected, and our energy becomes part of the fabric of all life.

    ... always with Love ^_^
  7. Livinginhope

    Livinginhope Peer Supporter

    Your kindness is so appreciated. Thank you.
  8. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    Wow!! I feel like everything @Livinginhope wrote could have been my words exactly!! Thank you both for this exchange!

    I got much of the low-hanging fruit (i.e., identified major emotional issues) and brought my pain down significantly back in 2007, but I continue to have that all-the-time (but not as bad as it was) pain (that I, too, sometimes hardly notice if I'm distracted enough). Anyway, all this is very relevant to me, but sometimes I'm just too tired to keep trying since I've come to live like this for so long now (and have tried so many things to change my conditioned brain). I'm far better than I was, but still know it's possible to get even better. But sometimes it still seems so daunting. Nonetheless, the replies are very helpful!
    Lily Rose likes this.

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