Chronic Pain and the Silver Linings

My longtime friend was telling me about another procedure she had for her bladder. She spent the last few years dealing with the after effects of cancer and radiation.

She said with her usual good humor and sarcasm, “Well at least I have a family camping trip coming up. Silver linings!”

I woke up the next morning thinking that we live, thrive and heal in the silver linings. Not the false smiles of “I’m fine. All is well. God won’t give me more than I can handle” bullshit and other commonplace bumper stickers. No clichés. No platitudes.

Silver linings exist within the disease.

What? One example is “migraines may protect against Type 2 diabetes, alcoholism, and give you an evolutionary advantage” according to Paul Rizzoli, MD who is affiliated with the Harvard Medical School.

I know. I know. How about I just watch what I eat, don’t drink alcohol, devolve and skip the migraines? OK?

The true hard-earned knowledge in having years of chronic pain is that we have uplifting moments to support us. We hold happy memories and return to them over and over again. Silver linings get us through the extreme flares especially those that go on for days.

Our thoughts of those times help us remember the beauty in our life because we can forget about the wonder and simple pleasures we have experienced. We can get bogged down with the sense of “How can I do this day after day after day?”

Those of us with daily aches, jabs and stabs use our soothing joyful moments as healing tools. We have learned that life’s simple pleasures strengthen us and help us get up each day and engage in life.

We do our best. Others have no idea the effort, thought and care that goes into our best and sometimes that just means being quiet. No self-judgement. No perfection.

Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements says, “Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.”

So take some time and scan your life looking for the simple pleasures. Remember all the times you laughed your butt off. Write these down. Find pictures that support your memories and if you don’t have any, create a picture. Have them available and pull them out when you are in the midst of discomfort.

Place your attention on the pleasurable. Turn it away from your pain.

Live, thrive and heal in the silver linings!

Gail Sinclair, Master Hypnotherapist, Certified Nutritional Consultant, & Karuna® Reiki Master Teacher, works diligently to teach others how to work through the 7 Stages of Chronic Pain and Learn How to Thrive™. She lives with Trigeminal & Occipital Neuralgia, Rheumatoid & Osteoarthritis, & Fibromyalgia and continues to learn tools to turn her attention away from the persistent pain of her body.

You can also reach her at or at Click here to contact me. 

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