Updated: Aug 12
Do you ever cover up for your chronic pain from others, even yourself? Maybe you've denied the extremity of your pain to keep your loved ones or colleagues comfortable when they are around you. Or your chronic pain is an unspoken tale you refuse to think about because your life needs a change.
If this sounds remotely like anything you've done since being diagnosed with chronic pain, then this blog is for you. Keep reading below to get the one simple tip that can help you feel more in control of chronic pain without having to hide it from the world.
One thing that makes chronic pain worse:
For the longest time, I would completely deny any pain that I would feel. The first part of my denial was that I hoped that the pain would eventually disappear one day and my life would go back to normal. Driving more than 20 minutes would become easy again, sitting in class without my leg or arm going numb with pain would no longer discourage me, and dressing up to feel pretty in heels would not be such a pain! The list could go on and on.
The second part of my denial was that I'd cover up any pain I felt every time I was around people- even the people dearest to me! In my mind, I knew there was nothing they could do to fix my problem, so I figured why even bother voicing what I was going through. I just hated the idea of causing the people I love to feel completely helpless!
But, in time, I also learned that being in denial in these two ways was actually causing me to spiral out of control. Some days I would completely give in to the pain and stay in bed for hours and hours. I became tired of being in denial and putting on a happy face for myself and everyone else.
After dropping out of a few classes and going on leave from work, I realized that using denial as a coping method for chronic pain was not a solution. In fact, I found that denial was the very thing that was causing my healing journey to become stagnant, or even become worse!
The One Simple Tip I Learned to Better Manage Chronic Pain:
Stop denying that your pain exists, and start addressing your chronic pain head-on. By intentionally creating awareness of your pain, you can help your pain experience by making better decisions about the activities in which you engage.
Becoming aware of your pain sensations, like what activities cause a decrease or increase pain sensations, what seating/standing limitations you have, and how much time you need to pace a task, will allow you to prevent burnout and stress.
By acknowledging the pain you feel, you take back control of your life. Recognizing and addressing limitations allow you to communicate with the people around you where and when you need help and when you have things under control on your own.
Denial cannot and will not heal chronic pain. You know why? Because denial as a coping method does not let you address and take control of any situation. So, if you continue to deny your pain experience, then you essentially let pain control the steering wheel to your life! And ho wants to be in the backseat of their own life- no one!
If this blog resonated with you, start with keeping a pain diary. Learn what your limitations are and what activities need better time management or delegation.
If you feel like you need more support, click this link https://calendly.com/bodyamorwellness/15min for a free 15-minute call with pain management coach Amari Dior!