Help me, it’s like the walls are caving in
Sometimes I feel like giving up
But I just can’t
It isn’t in my blood
Laying on the bathroom floor, feeling nothing
I’m overwhelmed and insecure, give me something
I could take to ease my mind slowly
Just have a drink and you’ll feel better
Just take her home and you’ll feel better
Keep telling me that it gets better
Does it ever?
Help me, it’s like the walls are caving in
Sometimes I feel like giving up
No medicine is strong enough
Someone help me
I’m crawling in my skin
Sometimes I feel like giving up
But I just can’t
It isn’t in my blood
It isn’t in my blood
 
-Shawn Mendes ‘In my blood’ segment
Chronic pain" The indestructible within

It isn’t in my blood

I heard this song and I liked the thought of it. Keep fighting because fighting is all you know. That I will never give in or give up. It sounds great. But it isn’t my story.

But, for me, there has been points where I simply had no fight left in me. And I just didn’t. I want this to be true for me Now but I am haunted by my past and I know that there have been times when I almost didn’t survive. When my own brain turned against me and didn’t Want to survive all this. So that is also in my blood. But so is the fight to live, endure, persevere.

And that to me is the nature of chronic pain and depression tangled together; a push and pull of surviving and the struggle with my brain when it doesn’t want to survive at all.

Resilience

You must face annihilation over and over again to find what is indestructible in yourself

PEMA CHODRON

Now, this, to me, describes living with chronic pain long term to me. I cope. I don’t. I do well, then I crash and burn. I don’t pace and force myself to push through the pain, it pushes back harder. Things get worse and I slowly have to adjust to that reality all over again.

And eventually, over time, from coping and not coping over and over again, I do find something in me that I trust to carry me through any storm. I have learned some sort of resilience I never had. I may bend but I don’t break. Not anymore. And I don’t know where that came from, except I faced these horrible storms of pain and depression over and over again and came out slightly different every time. Adjusted a little bit every time.

There is a level of resilience even now when things are really not going well in life and in health. And this is the sort of time I would normally not deal well with. Yet I am holding on. As best I can. Riding out this storm. Coping as best I can.

Some core of stubborn persistence grows from adversity. And it just gets stronger and stronger over time. So maybe it isn’t in my blood anymore to give up. Not sure.

Fear of the past

It doesn’t mean I am not afraid of my own past. That depth of depression I am very aware I could fall into again and would completely compromise my capacity to cope with this level of pain and other symptoms. I understand that is a reasonable fear to have. However, I am also aware if I need help I will ask for it. Not just ignore it and try to deal with by myself.

Accepting current limitations

I have also learned I have to accept whatever my current limitations are. And certainly right now, they are pretty severe. I don’t have to like that but I have to accept that. I have to pace and pace a whole lot right now. I have to rest. More than I Want to, certainly. But these are necessary in order to not exceed my limits and that definitely makes this significantly worse. When things get a bit better then I can nudge my limits bit by bit to find where the new line is but that is not now.

Nothing stays the same

Sometimes we fear the future because we know the past. And there is also a whole lot of unpredictability with chronic pain and chronic illness. Both of those are unsettling, to say the least. Yet, when things do get worse and certainly I am in worse right now, we still persevere, endure, and cope. There is something in me that is persistent despite these fluctuations. There is something super stubborn and resilient. And the fact that nothing stays the same goes both ways. Things are not good now. Maybe they will get better in the future. It can’t rain every day.

Something to ponder anyway.

My dear, in the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy.
For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me,
within me, there’s something stronger-
something better, pushing right back.
-Albert Camus

See more posts

Fulfillment without traditional work
Mood, happiness and life satisfaction
Chronic pain acceptance for me

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15 thoughts on “Chronic pain: The indestructible within

  1. Very wise words Nikki. Well done for coping, persevering and having resilience.
    Do you ever find that sometimes you feel like screaming? I feel like it every day. I’m angry at the pain, the reality and most of all fear of the future. How can someone live like this till the end of their life when they wake up every morning and hope that they have less pain? Where do you get the strength to keep going? Surely we need a break. I feel like I’m going mad just thinking about a future of pain. Seeing lots of doctors and trying lots of medication has made me realize that there is no magic pill. They work sometimes and then they don’t. I have a team of doctors, headache specialist , urologist, psychiatrist and pain management and I’m still suffering. Right now my situation is hopeless and I can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. Still, here I am, still with a glimmer of hope. You’re inspirational and makes me feel that I’m not on my own. I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know where you are at. I also came to this realization that there is no magic pill. That I would always be in pain and always suffer like this. And that my future pain would be the same as now, or worse. And this all hit me extremely hard. Because none of that isn’t True and that certainly didn’t help with my depression.

      The only thing that eventually helped me was this concept that although I had no control over the physical pain and very little power over what doctors did to manage it either… I had a slight amount of control over suffering itself. So I began to work on all the things I could think of, for me, that would reduce the suffering or emotional impact of pain. And effectively treat the depression with therapy and medication. Literally that is all I have power over. This did help me long term in coping.

      Because pain and symptoms, well, they stay the same… or get worse even… and doctors can not do much about it… or Won’t do much about it. I do expect a basic quality of life in pain management and symptom control- and I think we ALL deserve that. And I certainly hope you get that. And that I get that. Because I can say in the long term there are no coping strategies I have ever figured out to deal with low quality of life due to pain and symptoms without any management. So that is an expectation we should have and deserve. I just think, for me, that is delayed with the pandemic so I just wait in limbo. And many of us are in limbo right now. And I really hope that doesn’t last too long.

      I don’t know where we find the strength to keep going. I do know we can never predict the future. Because sometimes it turns out right around the corner is pain management we did not expect would be there ever. I know that for sure because I was hopeless in the depths of my depression and I learned there is a lot more out there than I thought to help me. Methods and medications both. I just could see it then and I didn’t have Access then.

      Like

      1. You’re a strong woman Nikki. I pray the future doesn’t get worse as the fear of living like this is consuming me. What really gets to me is the lack of research on chronic pain medication. There’s research on Ms, Cancer and other conditions but chronic pain suffered are stuck with gabapentin and pregabalin. And if these don’t work there’s nothing else except the dreaded opioids. I expect more from science and I hope I live long enough to have better treatment and less pain. Big hug to you Nikki. We are separated by an Ocean but I feel you. I’m pleased I can pour my heart here because even my family are tired of listening to me. X

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You truly are the voice for so many of us Nikki, your honesty shines through and speaks about experiences that so many people will recognise.
    I think that sometimes we fight the oncoming tide just because it’s what we do. We don’t dare to hope for better days, or a magic pill, or a silver bullet, but we live for the next day and the next and the next because we are survivors, and it’s what we do.

    Like

  3. I can understand this 100%! Yesterday I tried to “push aside” my fatigue/pain (mind tend to flare together), and I cleaned my entire apartment, watered my plants, bought some groceries and had plans to wake up at 8am and generally repeat/continue the process, but I woke up at 3pm, something I’ve not done in over a decade! Instead of being mad at myself I decided to simply accept that my body needed. I simply “couldn’t” today, and that’s all right. Tomorrow is another day.

    Liked by 1 person

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