The tragedy in chronic pain is often that we learn to understand our limits and that we need to moderate our lives but due issues with insurance companies, issues with disability or issues with accommodation in the workplace we are unable to moderate our work. This means we always exceed our limits. This can lead to more chronic pain. More chronic pain can lead to more difficulties with sleep. It can lead to depression and anxiety. In other words, exceeding our limits does not work for us.
Yet we are forced to push through the pain without any options. Having no options for me has led to depression and suicidal ideation. I understand the pain clinic and every psychologist I have ever seen says I cannot work full time and when I cannot work at all. I also understand when it comes to insurance companies I am utterly powerless. I have a keen understanding of this lack of power. People say you have to fight the insurance companies. Easy to say. Hard to do when you are in a lot of pain and depressed.
This is how I felt when I was on long-term leave and they canceled my coverage and told me I had to return to full-time work. To which my psychologist said I was not ready for at that time, and in fact when I was ready not to full time. And the pain clinic said not to full time. But insurance companies do not listen to common sense or to specialists apparently. They listen to money. So I returned. Inevitably this did not work for me. I exceeded my limits. I was depressed. Sleep deprived. And then I tried to commit suicide. So now I have to appeal to go back onto long-term and it makes me very stressed out. How do I say you made a massive mistake that could have killed me?
The fact is, we exceed our limits and when we do our entire lives suffer for it. We cut out everything in order to survive work. No leisure activities. No socializing. Just tolerating that pain and crashing when we get home. Surviving not living. It is a tragedy what we let die inside of us while we still live… but this is not our fault. If we were able to establish proper coping strategies and Not exceed our limits we would be able to have a life as well. Like when I was on leave I was able to do mindful meditation, exercise, see my psychologist regularly, do my physio and able to socialist for short periods of time once a month. Managed my depression as well. I was Coping. The pain was the same but I was managing it. Completely unlike the raw desperation of working with that pain. Unable to do anything but work and crash, work and crash… catch up on sleep on my days off and start all over again.
We all wish we could have a career, have financial stability and work full time. I know I do. I Wish for it. But I am not capable of it. That is the distinction. I try and try and try and I fail because I simply exceed my limits. And it is simply becoming dangerous to my wellbeing to do so. I accept what specialists and psychologist say about this. They are right. I simply have to come to terms with the fact I cannot do it. In some sense, it is a relief. While I wish I was capable of having a career and the money that comes with it, I really do not like the extra pain, depression, sleep deprivation and suicidal thoughts. I do not like the raw desperation. The struggle every day to just get up, get to work and get through each and every hour. There is a relief knowing I won’t be forced to do that because it is expected of me.
But of course, there is that insurance company. And that appeal. And the stress of having to go through that. And the lack of funds while doing so. And the sense of powerlessness that comes with it.