Sharing the lessons along the way…


I have been cooperating with my pain, but I am pretty sure the outcome of doing so isn’t supposed to result in so much frustration.  I am having to work more, which reduces the amount of time and energy I have for other things.  It also increases my pain levels, making me feel like I am struggling to keep up with regular life things like laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.

For the past several months, I have blamed my lack of time to meet friends for breakfast, or whatever social event is happening, on my tighter schedule.  That is very true, however, it dawned on me yesterday that time and time management is not my primary problem.  Pain is really the problem.

Unfortunately, that did little to reduce my level of frustration over missing my friends.  When time or time management was my perceived problem, I was working to try to create more time and to shift some things around.  I felt like I had some control over my ability to manage my time.  That is, until I realized that time wasn’t really the problem.  I have far less control over managing my pain.IMG_0156[1]

Being able to work right now is very high on my priority list, so whatever is left after that, is whatever is left after that.  Most days, that isn’t much except for pain and exhaustion.

The irony is that each of my jobs provides me with some respite (i.e. distraction) from my pain as well.

Honoring my pain after working often means lying with ice packs attempting to sleep or to distract myself from the pain’s intensity, but at a minimum, it requires stopping all sitting, standing and moving around activity.

After writing the first three paragraphs of this post, it occurred to me that the root of my frustration is the lack of control over the pain.  From there, everything else becomes frustrating and often overwhelming.

I share all of this because that is what I do.  I share my struggles as much as I share my insights into those struggles.  What I wonder is, do my own ideas about surrendering apply here to the pain?  If they do (as I suspect they might) then what in the world does that look like?

It seems I am missing something important here, so please do share if it seems obvious to you!


Comments on: "Ouch–dammit!" (9)

  1. Tawny, I laughed when I saw the title of this post because I have said the same thing several times today. I totally understand the frustration of wanting desperately to work but at the same time not liking that work saps every ounce of life. I remember it all so clearly and am now grateful that I was able to retire. There are moments when I still wish I was working but then remember how difficult it was. I struggled with what it meant to surrender to pain and never resolved it. I have found that the bottom line is that until pain can be controlled, having a quality of life is very, very difficult. But, I was willing to take the increase in pain that came with working. I think about you often – keep working to understand this beast. Your excellent brain is your best friend.


    • Thank you Pat for being able to relate! I guess you are right about the pain needing to be better managed. I seem to have exhausted what allopathic medicine has to offer at this point. It is better than it was or else I doubt I would be keeping up with the work schedules. I find the inability to anticipate how bad it will be frustrating because I have had to cancel plans, etc. I know you know what that is like, and I really appreciate your comments!


      • You are resilient so I am confident you will find your own balance between engagement and pain tolerance. Maybe the inability to anticipate how bad it will be is a normal “side effect” of not wanting to live our life around pain. I get surprised all the time and feel blindsided. After I responded to your post last night, I realized that daylight savings time is what threw me this time – disturbed the amount of sleep I’m getting. And the “Ouch-dammit!’s help a lot. 🙂


  2. Thank you Judy! It did help to share the frustration. I’d rather share once I have some sort of plan or have figured it out already. ;-). I keep trying different approaches, so pretty soon, one of them will work better!


  3. as i read through your posts, i pondered what it must be like to live with constant pain. i have been extremely lucky, and when ‘minor’ pain sets in, i usually stop and lie down, and in half an hour, the pain has gone away. it’s usually my back. for a short while i had a shoulder injury from painting way too many hours per day, and that was like having a broken arm. i am thankful that a kinesiologist corrected my problem with one treatment.

    i cannot imagine what it would be like not to have relief from chronic pain. you have my complete sympathy and empathy, and i also am reminded to be thankful for my good health.



  4. I’m glad you’re sharing and I hope it has helped somewhat. Conscious awareness is always the starting point of mastery.


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