What you Resist, Persists
I just finished taking a course called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Chronic Pain. One of the metaphors they talk about is getting stuck in quicksand and how it relates to pain. If you get stuck in quicksand, the more you struggle and fight against it, trying to pull your limbs free, the more you sink. The key is to work with the quicksand, to spread out flat and come into contact with it with as much of your body as possible so that your weight is spread out. You kind of need to surrender to it and work with it.
With chronic pain, our natural instinct is to struggle, try to break free, and find the treatment that will make it all go away. All the struggle often results in a life that revolves around pain and the pain still persists.
Sometimes the key is to surrender a bit. To learn to live life with some pain. This can ease the struggle, the anxiety, the depression, the tension in your muscles, and the fight or flight response. THEN you may notice that even the pain eases some. And you can do a little more.
My daughter's pain used to be on my mind 24/7. It was my sole focus (and obviously her sole focus too since it was overwhelmingly severe). I must say that as we have learned to live life again with pain, it is no longer the sole focus of our lives. It is still there. And life is different than it would have been without it. But it doesn’t cloud every moment of every day. The stress of the pain has eased and we are distracted by doing other things. Sometimes it flares. But surrendering a bit to living life with pain has somehow offered a far better quality of life.
Have you noticed this in your life?
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