love – Patience – Tolerance

A change in attitude

I was angry, frustrated and exhausted from dealing with undiagnosed CPS (I still am during a flare up). I thought I was going crazy. No one could comprehend the pain I was experiencing. It was bitter sweet getting a diagnosis a year on from the accident.

There was relief with a diagnosis, but I was also knocked down with the reality of of a lifetime of chronic nerve pain. It was a recipe for depression and anxiety. How the hell was I supposed to manage?

For a start I needed to get as much information on treatments and management as I could find. A diagnosis also got me a place on the pain clinic course. A seven week commitment to group sessions. It was good to meet others face to face who were suffering under the lash of chronic pain.

I regularly felt defeated by it. I was overwhelmed with negativity as I battled through the days. Hoping for relief and a break from high pain levels. Stress was the main factor in my flare ups. The more negative I became the more I suffered. I was hard to live with during those first couple of years.

I have overcome a lot during my lifetime. From Borderline Personality Disorder to chronic alcoholism. Surely if I had learned to overcome the serious internal conflicts that caused me so many mental health problems I could overcome the negativity of chronic pain. In short – I had no choice. The pain was a permanent fixture. And my attitude needed to change towards my suffering.

Non contemplative meditation was the first step in a change of attitude. By minimising stress, I would in effect lower the pain levels. I had to let go of the anger and frustration I felt towards myself. I needed to look at my pain from a conscious perspective. Meditation keeps me in the moment, rather than in fear around the future or resentment at the past. My anger had to go. It was destroying me and my marriage.

The more I awoke the more clarity I had. I was able to see the destructive nature that chronic pain has on the mind. It was draining me of any positivity I had and was crushing my spirit. As I slowly became free of my anger my attitude Began to shift. I became more patient and tolerant of my situation. There was more of an interest in solutions rather than being stuck on a roundabout of negativity.

I started to take care of myself even when I didn’t feel like it. Little thing’s like shaving and changing my clothes regularly helped me feel better about myself. I also changed my diet and got back to work, even if only part time. It was a sense of normality that I needed back in my life. I got back to taking care of my family and being more altruistic. I became less involved with my pain and suffering and got gently back into the stream of life.

My life now isn’t perfect. There are still day’s I struggle and take a step backwards. But I know now that I can live beside the monster with a positive attitude directed at life and the thing’s I can do to help myself. With a gentle and kind spirit.

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