With CPS it became apparent that there was much more than just the pain to deal with. At the pain clinic we discussed what they called secondary pain. The fear and resentment that we all suffer from as a result of living with CPS.
I experienced emotional and physical trauma after developing CPS. My world was tipped upside down as I struggled from day to day with the mental pressure of dealing with chronic nerve pain. I was overwhelmed. And the harder I fought the worse the pain got, which raised my stress levels which ramped up my pain. I was on a vicious roundabout.
As a recovered alcoholic I have deep understanding of the cause of my mental suffering. In order to recover from alcoholism I had to give up anger and master resentment. Trauma had got the better of me and as a result I sought relief from my internal conflicts. For me, alcohol became my master. In the end I had to find a way to deal with my past and face stress without becoming overwhelmed.
So why is that relevant? Fast forward five years and from developing Central Pain Syndrome I was rocketed back into emotional and physical suffering. Most of us experience resentment with chronic pain conditions. It’s easy to slip into anger at the injustice of living with chronic pain.
I was angry at the kid who was was on his phone whilst driving and smashed into my car. I was angry at the suspicion I felt from everyone with an invisible illness. I was aggravated at my wife for not accepting my pain condition. I was frustrated at the nine month wait to see a neurologist. In short I was full of anger and resentment and the only person who was really suffering from my resentments was me.
It was a phone call to the man who showed me how to improve my life through meditation that triggered a change in my attitude.
My problem was that I was wilfully struggling with the pain. I was trying to beat it and failing to do so. The harder I pushed myself the worse the flare ups. No one can safely live with anger. It consumes everything worthwhile. And for a CPS sufferer it only serves to do more damage.
In order to make a change to my situation I needed to let go of anger. No matter who it was directed at -it was still anger/resentment. It was eating me alive. I had to stop resting my need to be understood on other people. I was looking for approval and resenting when I didn’t get it.
I came to see how much damage resentment was causing me. the antidote to anger is forgiveness, and I had to learn to be kinder to myself. I had fallen into the resentment trap and knew the only way out was to practice outgoing love.
I no longer care what others think of me, that is their business. My main focus now is dealing with stress and managing my pain levels. I do this through a very unique meditation exercise. The one that has allowed me to recover from resentment in the past. The more I consciously live in the present moment the easier it is to manage life.
I have learned to give up the wilful struggle of my body and mind. I now live beside the monster without fear or judgment of myself and others. It’s a tough path to be given but with the principles of love, patience and tolerance at the centre of my life I can move forward with a spirit of love despite the pain. It no longer defines me and anger no longer rules me. I have found peace in the storm.