I think the one thing that holds me back with coping with chronic pain overall is that I can’t win. If I lose a limb, that would suck, but then I would be challenged to learn how to cope and then, in the end, I would, I would get my victory and be damn proud of my accomplishment. With chronic pain, there is no end and so there is no victory. There are the things like being proud that we are able to work, but then there is also the whack load of guilt when you are not able to.
If I follow the path and do all the techniques that might help me survive chronic pain better then all I am doing is learning how to lie better. Fooling others into believing I am not suffering as much as I am, and that is no real victory to me since silence takes a huge toll on us as well. So I am resistant to these suggestions that I need to change my lifestyle in order to cope better. First of all, it is like blaming the patient… if they are not doing all the work that they should be doing, having no vices and living well, exercising and taking their vitamins like good little citizens… then they are to blame for not being better.
That makes me resistant to playing nice. Now I understand it is all to make me feel better about not feeling better. Which is so much better? Er. Not sure, but I am towing the party line. Nonetheless, I fear masking pain does me no good. My shrink says laughing off pain makes people believe you are not suffering as much… and that is true, but so does being just functional enough to do all those things she wants… if I can exercise and such, then obviously I am not suffering right?
And in the end, let’s say all that makes me more engaged with the world and find my bliss and hold my power and yada fricken yada… is that a victory? Not really. It is just saying that I am willing to live with pain rather than simply survive it. A slim difference. Because apparently what I crave is that victory. That I conquered the pain, even though it is there, it does not stop me from doing whatever I please, making it so I do have passions and goals and such fanciful things. And so I am in a constant state of disillusionment because I will never ‘win’ enough to make the life I want and having less is a loss to me. And my name (Nikki) does mean Victory, so it is all in the name. If enduring pain in the long term enabled me to achieve what I desire then it would be worth it, as some things are worth the extra suffering, but when all my experience has taught me is that I must compromise, I must accept that I will never have what I desire and learn to let go…. and to mean that is giving in, so it really should not be surprising that after years of giving in and ‘coping’ I am depressed at what is left to me.
That is not to say I am not all for betterment, of trying new things and trying to live well. I just think it is foolish to believe that if I change my lifestyle I will feel so much better, when really it will mean I appear to feel better, certainly to hide how I feel better. That worries me a great deal. That I will see some minor improvement that will enable me to join the workforce full power ahead, just better enough to be able to struggle through it with a smile on my face, but not better enough that ‘success’ will simply bring me more suffering.