Monday, January 14, 2013

Mind Game.

Over the weekend I got to thinking that coping with chronic pain is about so much more than the things I do. I often talk about distracting myself with comedy and pacing myself and trying not to put so much pressure on myself to do the things I used to be able to do. And these are certainly actionable steps that I take to cope but I think the more important coping mechanism is in the brain.

Far too frequently my own thoughts have been the biggest enemy to optimal living. I get bogged down in negative thoughts, in all the scary "what if" scenarios. This all leads to feeling depressed, overwhelmed and incapable of moving forward or doing much of anything.

I believe in the power of the mind and armed with that belief I went ahead and started telling myself more positive things. Instead of telling myself that I'm a financial drain on my husband and that I don't have much to offer our little family I started telling myself that I am a valuable partner who brings a lot to our relationship and to our family.

Don't get me wrong. It wasn't as easy as that. I didn't believe it for a long time. So I started saying it out loud and started getting more specific, thinking about all the things that I can still do and how those things impact our relationship and our family. Slowly I started to really believe these things. And as these positive thoughts began to take hold I realized how they conflicted with all my negative ones, resulting in fewer and fewer of the negative ones.

The struggle between which thoughts predominate any given hour is continuous. On the good days, it's easy to think positive and several days into a bad run it's very difficult and I'm not always successful. I still have days when I feel depressed, defeated and overwhelmed. The difference now is that it doesn't last as long and it isn't as hard to crawl my way out. It's a mind game for sure, a hard one at that.


  1. It IS a mind game, but I believe that with continual positive thoughts you will actually feel better physically. My fibro has improved so much, and I feel that it has a lot to do with positive thinking :) I'm not pain free, but I am pain free'er than I have been in years.

  2. i can only imagine. My mind plays games with me at times too. I think of the what ifs and they can get me down. I often feel like I don't have much of a purpose in life. It is so easy to get overwhelmed and anxious.

    I hope you are having a good pain day today. Mine is just the regular one, not too bad so far.