I’m going to tell you a story to express my point where I learned a thing called ‘push through the pain’. We all do it. Need to get something done. Have to work. Push through the pain.
So when I was younger in my 20’s with fibromyalgia and episodic migraines at the time I was in university. In the summer I would go find summer jobs. Every single one I picked was bad for the FM. Heavy repetitive lifting. Standing for 8 hours. And many other jobs with many reasons.
In every single one of those jobs, I was in a lot of pain. But there was a limit to it. Just had to get through the summer. So I would push through the pain. Knowing it would be over in a few months. I excelled despite my pain. Did well at every job. Most of them asked me to work while in school. I declined, because that I knew I could not do it.
This taught me if I pushed through my pain I could accomplish something. And that my work would not suffer because I achieved my goals even in a lot of pain.
I learned this. I applied it years later.
Except now I had a full-time job and more pain. My brain says you just have to push through the pain until … you see the neuro, until you try a new med, until the weekend, until holidays, until you see the neuro again, until, until… There is no until. It is constantly exceeding my limits. Thinking it was fine because it didn’t affect performance. But it did. It affected attendance. Because pushing through the pain exceeds limits. This causes a crash and burn cycle where the pain gets substantially worse, so a lot of missed days in there.
Pushing through the pain is a Very short-term solution. Not designed to be how you get through work because you burn out. High pain after every time you exceed your limits, causing sick days, then roll it over and do it again and again. Wasn’t good for me or my workplace.
When I was younger and I taught myself that pushing through the pain got me the reward I wanted I had no options. I was on no medication and no doctor was treating my FM. I knew I would have to work a desk job but at the time I took what was available.
Later on, it was pure raw desperation to hold onto a job. Push through the pain every day to just be there. Be there and get through the day.
I knew from a long time ago to moderate my activities. To stay within my limits. To pace myself. Just not in that one area. It was like when it came to work it was all off and I would force myself through the pain believing it was for the best. To not apply those lesson to my work as well… especially since I am there for most of the day led to a lot of pain and suffering I did not need to suffer.
The real lesson here is this: listen to your body. Do not push beyond your limits. If you feel like you are always pushing through the pain to just get things done, you need to change something. Work, or pacing, or moderation or limitations. Because exceeding our limits greatly increases our pain. No matter what people tell you or think of you, you listen to your body.