I woke up today in what is perceived by many to be a free country. I can pretty much Do what I want. At least I can do what I want within certain prescribed boundaries. I can’t just go out and steal. I can’t go out and do treasonous activities. If I do these things there are certain consequences.
This freedom came at a price. It came at a great price. The parallels to those in pain and what they can do for themselves have been on my mind today. I see at least 4 that I would like to mention today.
Decision – Our forefathers spent a good deal of time trying to work out their issues with the crown. At some point they made a decision. We call it the Declaration of Independence. At that point they laid it all on the line and charted a new course.
People in pain often try a few skirmishes. These include many things for different people. In my case I took 8-12 aspirin for about 2 years to deal with the pain that I developed following a hit and run. I was on the bicycle. The car was bigger. At some point I made a decision to do what I needed to do to develop a lifestyle to deal with my issue. People in pain need to make this decision. It often has consequences. One of the better ones is decreased pain and often the ability to do activities that were limited by that pain.
Work – A decision was a good start but work was required. An army had to be raised. The colonies had to work together. It was a formidable task to go against vastly superior forces that were better trained. People who hurt need to work also. I have had many clients tell me that they are not willing to do anything that is required in order to get better. That is why they have insurance. It is not their fault that they hurt and somebody else better “fix” them.
These people usually don’t get well. Pain is an output of the brain. It is a message that we need to do something to change the situation. Apart from a decision and then active work to deal with the besetting issues there is rarely resolution. Therapists rarely “fix” anyone or anything. People need to work toward resolution. This often means dealing with habits, environments, and underlying thoughts and attitudes. The Biblical concept of the heart includes intellect, will, and affections. How this can be applied to pain will be developed in later posts. I simply want to point out that change in these areas requires work.
Sacrifice – Our forefathers had to sacrifice tremendously. Many lost all they had. Many lost their lives. Others lost friends and relatives. Those in pain often need to make sacrifices. The diabetic needs to avoid sugar. That is hard. Some people need to avoid gluten. Others simply need to spend more time in bed – that can be hard. Entertainments often need to be changed. All of this can be difficult. Rarely does relief from chronic pain come without some type of lifestyle change that is perceived initially as a sacrifice.
Recurrence – Our forefathers were not done when the war was over. It was quickly followed by the War of 1812. They had to do the same thing all over again. Those who find relief from pain often find that it comes back. They need to keep dealing with the issue. It requires a lifestyle of vigilance. Habitat and Habits may need to change.
Today is a good day to make a decision to deal with your pain. Let July 4th be a day of decision to work and sacrifice to make a change in your pain. Keep checking here for help.