love – Patience – Tolerance

Trauma and chronic pain

There is a link between emotional trauma and chronic pain. It’s not just physical damage that can create pain conditions.

It is why making peace with the past is so important if we are going to successfully manage our pain. And as importantly we must find a way to deal with stress in the present moment. We must find a way to forgive.

It was when I began working with the pain clinic and began to talk about my life that I was first made aware of the link between trauma and pain. Stress being the one of the main triggers to ramped up pain levels. I have a history of traumatic events from an abusive childhood, homelessness, alcoholism and bdp to other serious mental health disorders.

It all had an effect on me even though I was unaware of what it was doing to my central nervous system. Stress also caused me digestion problems and stomach ulcers. It caused my hair to fall out when I was 16. Alopecia is common in people who are highly anxious. It is a signal that something is going on under the surface that needs addressing.

Then after getting sober at 36 I had a period of good health. I had discovered a way to deal with stress in the present moment. I met and married Stacey. Became a father to Frankie and went on to have triplets which was a traumatic experience in itself. No joke, having triplets was a test of patience and tolerance. And in all that time there was a history I rarely discussed.

It was only when I got hit in my car and nerve pain became permanent that I came to realise that I had to deal with my past and make a beginning on unravelling my past traumas. Event’s that were adding to my current pain levels. In short I had to make peace with my past.

Over the last few years I have worked with the pain clinic in dealing with the mental strain of chronic pain. I had sessions with their clinical psychologist and from those appointments I have gone on to get counselling to finally discuss and deal with my childhood abuse.

Even though I have no resentment towards my past it still resonates in my mind and can cause fear. It is still a factor in my stress levels and still causes me problems in personal relationships. So seeking help was vital. It is the last area of my life I need to deal with.

The past affects the present

Pain changes the way the brain functions as does stress and anxiety. I can’t do anything to fix central pain syndrome but I can do as much as I can to deal with stress. I learned early on that resentment and fear ramp up my pain levels. Emotions that are prevalent and not easy to deal with while suffering from chronic pain.

I have to live a healthy lifestyle. Diet and exercise help with chronic pain. The healthier I am the easier it is to manage my pain levels. And I’ve realized that the more I face and overcome trauma the better position I am in to face life now.

Nothing has helped me more than non contemplative meditation. It is a way to practice observing overthinking and negative emotions without being dragged into the whirlpool of thoughts. It is a free exersise unlike anything out there. I will leave the link at the bottom of this post.

If you are suffering from chronic pain and have a history of traumatic events that may be affecting your pain now I urge you to seek help. Find the courage to face your past and in forgiveness you will find peace. And living with chronic pain will become that little bit easier.

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