While this blog is all about supporting you in your healing journey, I also want to use this platform to spread the word about chronic pain, and what comes with it. I have written an article before that talks about what it’s like living with chronic pain, and I thought I was due for another one.
The goal of this post is to let everyone who suffers from chronic pain syndrome, which includes chronic back pain, piriformis syndrome, sciatica, arthritis, etc. that they are not alone, that what you are experiencing is completely normal, and to provide you with some practical tips that will support you in your healing journey.
And btw, I am a huge believer that it’s totally possible for you to get better and restore your body, even if you’ve been experiencing chronic back pain for years. I’ve had pain for seven years dealing with piriformis syndrome, herniated disc, ankylosing spondylitis and pelvic inflammation. So I do have a clear idea of what you may be going through. Let’s dive in, shall we?
If you have few minutes, I made a video post for this (thought why not right?), but if not, I summarized the video below for your convenience 🙂
Chronic Pain Syndrome – Video
If you can’t watch the video, here is the summary of what’s been discussed. Oh and please leave me a comment below if you’d like to share your story.
Living With Chronic Pain:
Living with chronic pain syndrome is expensive. Typically, you have run through many tests, try different treatments, and medication when necessary. Even if the majority of people would have an insurance plan, often times, we do have to cover a percentage of the fee. I personally didn’t have insurance for years, and I had to pay out-of-pocket for all my treatments. I spent thousands of dollars in between Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy, scans, Acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, lumbar stabilizers and “special” gadgets.
There is a huge financial stress that comes with dealing with chronic pain. In addition, I know many people who had to work part-time or quit their jobs altogether. This leads me to the next type of stress often experienced.
Definitely, one of the most damaging types of stresses one can experience. This is usually caused by the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness, feeling like a burden or when someone isn’t considerate of your condition (you know, the folks who think we’re milking it). Especially when we spend years trying out different things and you still get another flare-up and feel like you’re back to square one. I remember having a few days where I completely gave up. I wasn’t even trying to find another physician. It was just a complete ‘given up’ feeling that I had.
This can cause a person to develop depression, lose all motivation to get better, avoid social gatherings and activities, and get sucked into that chronic pain “black hole”. It’s a very dangerous place to be in.
I wanted to stress on this point because even though our family and friends are supporting us daily, it may often seem like you’re not getting the “right support”. The reason for this is because they really cannot feel the pain that you are feeling, and it’s hard for us to express what we are going through.
So it may seem like they are not saying the right things, or doing the right things. However, keep in mind that it can also be hard for our family members to support us because they get confused on our expectations.
I used to get really moody and upset at people who didn’t support me the way that I wanted them to. But at the same time, I never expressed how I wanted their support.
So now that we covered some of the stresses that come with living with chronic pain, I wanted to share with you some practical tips that will support your healing journey.
Journaling is a fantastic, healthy way to express your emotions. You can get messy, write it all out without judgment. It provides great relief from anxiety, and you can reconnect back to your emotions in a very healthy way. I usually do journaling after my mindfulness meditation practice just because it allows me to relax and drop from my head to my body. This is also a great opportunity to monitor how I feel.
The One Thing
During tough days, instead of focusing on the whole picture and start feeling unmotivated and hopeless, think about the one thing you can do at that moment that will help you feel better. Always think “what is one thing I can do right now to support myself and feel better?” For me, I always think “green-turmeric juice”. It’s definitely one of those things that I love nurturing my body with, and the turmeric helps me with inflammation.
Success stories were a very strong motivator for me personally. Every time I felt hopeless, I went online and looked for success stories and read many of them. They always filled me with hope and motivation. The great thing about doing that is you can also read about what those people have tried, and get some new ideas of things you may have not even considered in your healing journey.
Your Support System
Aside from expressing how you want your family and friends to support you, for example letting them know that you just need their presence, it’s also important to find the “right” support groups online.
A lot of groups online and on Facebook are unfortunately stuck on “problem mode”. Feeling like a victim all the time will not empower you to take action. That mindset is the place to be at if you have given up completely on getting better 100%. The best groups are the ones focused on solutions, and on helping you heal.
This is exactly why I created my Facebook group because I was craving an empowering support system that was focused on empowerment, and healing. You can check out the warrior’s group over here.
It’s a small private group. I make sure that all the members of the group are there to get support and to help each other out. I definitely encourage you to check out the Facebook group. I am personally there every day to connect with members and answer all the questions.
The point of this video post again is just to help you feel supported and not alone. Please know that there are so many people like you and it doesn’t matter where you are at in your journey with chronic back pain or any chronic pain that you are experiencing. There are people who have gone through what you’ve gone through and have gotten better.