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Secondary Gain - how do I fight it?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by ken v, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. ken v

    ken v New Member

    Looking for advice on how to prevent or lessen the pain that hits me during and after doing activities I don't want to do. Two weekends ago, I drove 2 hours to a concert I was excited about attending, sat through the 2 hour concert, went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant and then drove an hour home - very little spike in pain. This weekend I went to a theater production I dreaded going to - 5 minutes away - dinner where the food took 35 minutes to come and so we had to take it to go and my pain is through the roof. So you can clearly see that it is my attitude and experience that effects my pain level. And I have seen this over and over again - if I enjoy it very little pain consequence; if I hate it and dread it I will pay for it.

    I try to prep myself for these negative events, but it is not working - thus the need for advice.

    eskimoeskimo and readytoheal like this.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Ken. I would be pissed too if I had to wait so long for dinner at a restaurant. And that came on top of having to attend a theater production you dreaded going to. You can only do so much to think positive about going somewhere you'd rather avoid, but then I guess you just have to take deep breaths and go.
  3. mc1986

    mc1986 Peer Supporter

    Hi Ken,
    I have pretty much the same issue you described. If I get stuck at a computer at work my pain increases but I can't work out with heavy weights with very little increase in pain.

    What has helped me is actually NOT trying to prepare for these kinds of situations. I have found preparing just makes it a much bigger deal than it needs to be. Everyone has to do things they don't want to do. The difference is you and I have a brain that decides to give us symptoms when we are doing these things.

    Some other things that have helped me:
    Try to pay attention to your thought processes before and during these events. Try not to allow yourself to develop an inner dialogue about how bad this situation sucks or is going to suck. Don't build it up and try not to anticipate how you will respond. Try to remain present before and during (and always ideally, but that's impossible for me). Accept that you're having an increase in pain because you don't want to be in the situation. it is what it is... for now. Over time I have found if I don't react to the increase in anxiety and pain I become less sensitized to the situation. I think by acknowledging that the pain is there, accepting it as it is, and immediately being present/think psychologically we can greatly reduce our pain and anxiety next time around.

    The fact that you are recognizing that your pain is directly related to your mental state is huge. Pain is a symptom. In this situation it seems to be a symptom of your emotions, thought processes and beliefs about how the situation will turn out. Since treating a symptom rarely makes sense long term, we have to treat the emotions and thought processes behind the symptoms.

    I hope that helps
    linnyc87 and eskimoeskimo like this.

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