Patterns of thought
The following quotation marks represent generalised thoughts in my head during recovery . The contrast between negative and positive indicates my change of thinking for the better as time went on.
“This chronic pain condition is restricting my life, everything will fall back into place when I correct the problem, therefore I must devote a lot of attention to this problem so I can resume a happy life again”
“I’ve gone out to socialise with friends or out to parties during which the pain has been bad. When it strikes I only think about relief and when that is not immediately at hand my discomfort is prolonged and I feel uncomfortable – I only want to get home! This happens again and again and I start to feel that every time I make an effort to have fun it gets slammed in my face. If I choose to stay at home I get the comfort that some form of relief is at hand, plus my friends can always visit me”
“Pain seems to strike at random occasions, sometimes for no reasons. Because it’s referred pain I don’t know the source – it feels sinister and I feel held hostage by my body”
“I’ve followed stretching and exercise programs given to me by competent authorities but in the short-term the pain seems to get worse- I don’t want it to get worse because I can’t stand the prospect of living with more pain. My pain is severe yet there is no diagnostic evidence to show the source, shouldn’t I be safe rather than sorry and rule out all possibilities to give me peace of mind?”
“There must be something that is missing here! My symptoms are similar to symptoms attached to very serious disorders – what if I have one of them!”
I could go on giving more and more examples but I think this enough to establish a generalised pattern of destructive thought. It incredible, but at the time these thoughts seemed extremely sensible, rational and logical. The mind has an uncanny ability to rationalise its irrational thoughts!
Chronic pain for me was a tough, tough experience and the patterns of thought cited above demonstrate the anxiety that runs hand-in-hand with chronic pain. I think it’s very natural to feel vulnerable and exposed when one is injured, but I also believe that no one gets out of chronic pain by insulating himself or herself in a risk-free environment.
When I started to heal properly – that is through mind body and soul; my thought patterns began to shift. Pessimism turning into optimism; fatalism into hope and so on.
“Pain is a messenger that somewhere along the line there is something wrong. It is the body screaming at you, pleading for a more harmonious and balanced relationship internally”
“In a chronic overuse/misuse of the body type injury muscles often get very weak and short from a long accumulation of stress and negligence. Like and mechanical problem it CAN be corrected and the larger issues of body maintenance, care and control and also be learned and practiced.”
“Ok I’ve got a problem, and yes it’s really bad, but I’m human and all humans suffer from time to time, this can only make me stronger in the long term.”
“Hey I am slowly getting better, I will get better it’s just a matter of doing what it takes and not getting so obsessed with instant results, they’ll take care of themselves when my attitude and work is targeted in the right direction.”