Barbara, a fellow CatchMyPain user, has shared her thoughts and insights in another great article. She discusses the importance of attitude when dealing with chronic pain. What is your opinion about it?
Pain can bring your life to a halt or it can bring the end to dreams, if you let it. Pain that is the result of an obvious happening, such as an accident can sometimes be easier to deal with. Pain that sneaks up on you over time, because of illness like diabetes, or a treatment for illness such as chemotherapy, hits hard. Then there is the pain that hits for no known medical reason.
According to the Australian Pain Management Association: “The greatest challenge of chronic pain may not be the intensity, not the nature of the pain, but the fact that the pain persists and that long term relief is a hope but not an expectation.” In their article, they state that it is your attitude towards your pain that will determine how well you are able to deal with it. If you have a strong proactive attitude you will keep moving forward. You will also be able to deal better with the attitude of those around you.
There is no single method that can be used by all. How you react to your pain is totally individual as it is your pain and yours alone. It is up to you to discover a way to build within yourself a positive attitude. This does not mean that your pain will disappear, or that you will go through life without those terrible down days. What it means is that you will find a way that works for you.
First you must accept it and go from there. Maybe down the road a miracle drug will come on the market or a new pain relieving treatment will be discovered, but you cannot wait till then. Use the CatchMyPain diary to become aware of what helps and what makes things worse. Listen to your body. You will come to understand what it is trying to tell you and gradually you will find your tool or tools that help whether they be physical actions or mental.
Most importantly you must keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep moving forward with life. Come to know what brings you joy, what makes you feel good about yourself. On that black day, seek out that good thought or experience and chase the black away.
Barbara Zarrella, Florida, USA
Do you manage to keep a positive attitude? When is it especially difficult? What helps you and what would you recommend others to try?