Chronic Pain: action is needed to cope well



A triple rollover in a company car changed a healthy productive man into a 100% disabled mess. After multiple fusions, nerve killings and years of physical therapy, I ended up in a 15 person chronic pain group.

My peers had damaged spines, chronic pain and not much of a life. It was depressing to listen to them describe their suffering. They had given up, this was foreign to a former pro jock.

Everyone in group used Benzodiazepines for anxiety and opioids for pain. Out of 15 of us, most were taking between 20 and 40 pills a day, plus an implanted stem or morphine pump.

You can not chase something chronic with a short term pill. Opioids or Benzodiazepines last a few hours at best and then lose strength with repeated use.

Opioids or Benzodiazepines will not solve our pain or anxiety issues, in fact it will complicate them and do damage in the long run.

Hell, I lost my willpower, they had me so sedated.

Something in me, would not let me sit back and be a victim. One day I flushed all my pills down the commode and started hiking. Chronic Pain would be my combative enemy.

I named my pain Mr. P., like Mr C. On Happy Days. Pain is like the wind, invisible but powerful, so I gave my pain physical qualities.

So mid morning, I would battle Mr. P., tell myself he was trying to stop my legs from moving. I would cuss and taunt my pain and laugh at his feeble attempt to stop me from hiking.

I had brought my pain to a platform where I could use my greatest strength, my willpower, the battle for control was engaged.

I wish I could do this with my complex PTSD.

My pain exploded, intensity spiked, I kept moving my legs.

I was not going to live like a zombie on all those meds. Each week I saw others suffering without the will to resist or take action.

I would rather die fighting chronic pain than live a victims existence. So motive was clear and I would give all out effort.

In three weeks of daily hiking, each day my pain became more familiar, less scary, less painful.

In my misguided way, I was going right at my pain, bringing him out to compete, the others showed fear and avoided their pain.

Which way do you think leads to relief?

It never leaves completely, it just takes a seat way in the back of the auditorium.

Overcoming chronic pain was training for the trauma that would explode a little later in life.

Rick, a group member followed me out, started exercising and got off 80% of his opioids.

The difference of those who improve and those who suffer greatly is the ability of some to take action.

Action heals.



5 responses to this post.

  1. Very helpful! Thx

  2. I handle physical pain much better than trauma

    Emotional pain

  3. Me too.

  4. Emotional trauma feels less mind over matter since mind is the matter.

    For me at least. EMDR and trauma specific counselling have begun to shift an improvement to my PTSD but I’m yet to see what recovery actually looks like. This is a timely reminder to keep my expectations realistic.

    I hope you are well.

  5. Yea I could never see or imagine what healing would be like

    It is not a cognitive answer

    We try to think
    Our way out but that is impossible

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