Note that it is probably too soon to see the advantages if you have just been diagnosed with chronic pain. Trust me. I live with a number of persistent pain diseases. There will come a time when you can’t help but reflect on the changes you have made.
In the initial frantic days of getting diagnosed, then moving through shock, denying my disease, blaming, anger, and loneliness, I had no idea that I would one day see through this hurt, feel grateful and be able to list the benefits of my diseases.
How Can There be Benefits From Chronic Pain?
What? I know. It can sound ridiculous and weird.
Nicola Davies, Ph.D. said in The Power of Gratitude for Pain Management, “Gratitude decreases sensitivity to pain while improving pain tolerance. People who are more grateful in their lives feel pain in fewer places, with a much lower intensity;”
I started by writing down three things each morning that I was grateful for. So many days I couldn’t think of anything (you know, the really rough days), so I just looked out the window and wrote down what I saw and heard. The leaves on the trees. The birdsong at 4 am. The rain. The sun. And after a few weeks of this, the things I was truly thankful for began to flow. I became excited to start each day with what makes my life more joy-filled.
I didn’t know that gratitude would become a doorway to see the benefits in my life in spite of the jabs, jolts, and stabs.
- Naps during the day.
- My worth is my work dropped away.
- Cooking excellent and nutritious meals.
- Selecting the exercise that was best for my body.
- Being still.
- Time for meaningful relationships in my life.
- Practicing “No” is a complete sentence.
Make Your Own List
Do an honest inventory and see how many things you got back in your life after your pain diagnosis.
Did I want Trigeminal and Occipital Neuralgia, Fibromyalgia, two kinds of Arthritis, Costochondritis, Hypothyroid after Grave’s Disease, Ulcerative Crohn’s, Ulcerative Pan Colitis, Vulvodynia, Vaginal Lichen Planus, and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction? No.
Have I decided to learn from Chronic Pain? Yes!
I hope that this idea allows you to see that even though you did not ask to feel this way, you can find moments of seeing the good in all of this.
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.