Well, let’s just start with what I think, pain is a pain in the butt!
I have fibromyalgia, a wonderfully mysterious disorder (serious sarcasm to be read here), that allows its host to enjoy widespread pain. This pain is so wonderful (sarcasm is the order of the day), that it will not leave your side for any pain medicine. It is just that loyal of a friend!
Okay, while what I just said was true, let’s drop the sarcasm for some reality.
Obviously I have fibromyalgia. However, I don’t want to talk about how much pain I have or how much energy I don’t have. What I really want to share is how I cope. I have 4 main coping skills that I use to get from one day to next and to remain really quite, very, incredibly? happy. Which ever of those is the biggest adjective, that is the one I am glad to say that I am…absolutely no sarcasm meant here.
My first and foremost coping mechanism is my faith. I have a very good knowledge of the Bible and I use it to build me up. I have a strong relationship with God and I use that to comfort me. Obviously whoever is reading this may or may not share my religion, I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. My point is that faith and knowledge of our Creator can be a real comfort and does help me to cope. (If your curious about my faith)
My second coping tool is smiling. As often as I can as much as I can I smile. It releases wonderful chemicals that actually do have an effect on the pain. No, it won’t make it go away but it will help. So if you can do it, smile! Also connected with this is laughter. Just as important, it releases the same chemicals in your brain. So find something to laugh about. A favorite, , animal videos on youtube, friends with positive attitudes.
That leads to number three. Don’t let yourself be isolated. Granted there are times that we have pain that is too much to have to deal with people at the same time, but if it is just a mild or even medium pain day then socialize! My friends give me things to think about other than my pain. Distraction can, in my experience, work as a pain reliever too.
Number four, do what you can do, do what you like to do. Today is a good example of that for me. My pain isn’t too bad, I have a fair amount of energy. So today I will do whatever that allows me to do. Don’t waste a good day thinking that it will make the next day better. It might, but it might not. When you have chronic pain you can’t wait around for it to suddenly, permanently go away. Make the most of your good days. Have fun with them. Accomplish something, even something small. And the second half of that is do what you like. Make it a point to do things you enjoy. Today I am writing to all of you. I am a very creative person so I may work on origami or a painting or something along those lines. I enjoy that so I do that. It gives me things, fun things, to look back on when the pain is so bad I have to be in bed or on the couch.
(Note: This does not include when you have been ordered by doctor to stay in bed. If medically running around doing errands, cleaning house, going for walks, etc. is bad for you it is bad for you. This is simply about chronic pain with no other health risks involved. Also please keep in mind I am not a health professional, just someone who lives with pain.)
Well that about covers it. My four best coping tools for pain. They may at first seem impossible. Or maybe they seem ridiculous, but they have worked for me now for over seven years. And I do consider myself to be an incredibly happy person. I hope that it helps someone out there.