I wrote these first 17 posts towards the end of my battle with chronic pain. When your life is consumed with pain, that’s all there is so that’s all there is to talk about or write about. And when it was over, I got back into life and didn’t look back.
The pain has rescinded from my memory as childbirth pain did, so reading back through these posts does not affect me. It just is not a part of my life anymore. In fact, it feels slightly uncomfortable to talk about it now at all, as if I am a fraud.
The Mother’s Day post marks the end of that time. I began this writing about 4 months before Mother’s Day, after my first visit to the specialist. After the third injections, he gave me a book to read by Dr. John E. Sarno called The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain.
I gave a very brief summary of Dr Sarno’s theories in the TMS post. To expand a little further, his book suggests that the body is programmed to heal itself after an injury and that if you continue to have pain at the site of the injury after a normal healing period, then it is likely that the mind is interfering.
This book changed everything for me. It was as if he were describing me on every page. How did he know me so well?
So I took his theories to heart and put them into practice. The big thing for me was really making myself accept that there was nothing wrong with me, regardless of the diagnoses, and that I was experiencing pain for no actual physical reason. My original injury had happened 2 years before I got to this book and there really was no physical reason for it not to have healed normally.
The other main part of the process is to identify and address the aspects in your life that are causing you stress.
The pain didn’t leave overnight. I had to fight my mind for at least 2 months to really get it under control. My mind had such a stronghold over me.
I remember going back to the specialist after he had given me the book and his genuine pleasure for me when I told him ‘Yes, I get it. This is me. This is what’s going on here.’ And then his surprise when I asked for another round of injections.
Why did I need them? Because I needed all the back-up I could get to fight my mind! The injections gave me a physical sensation of strength and support in my back and at that stage I was so unstable (physically) that I needed this. I also started to take strong painkillers if the pain was really bad, so that I wouldn’t feel it and therefore I couldn’t give it any attention. (Previously I hadn’t used painkillers very much as I don’t like taking medications.)
Even recently I had to put this method into practice again. I had a very bad day at work and then that evening while lying on the couch my back ‘went out’. After trying to ignore it for a few days, I realized I was starting to worry that it was something serious (even though I knew, rationally, that it wasn’t). So I gave myself a very stern talking to: “I know there is NOTHING PHYSCIALLY WRONG here. You can’t fool me” and sure enough, it was gone the next morning. Of course when you do this, you have to actually believe it. Your mind will sniff you out if you are faking and won’t let it go.
I find it interesting that this only happens to some people. My partner, for instance, never takes any notice if he hurts himself, and consequently, never has lingering pain. Whereas I had always taken sickness and injury VERY SERIOUSLY, and had lived a lifetime of ailments. Thankfully not so anymore.