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Separate the Pain from the Person

Anyone who has been in chronic pain knows how it feels. But it is hard to comprehend the extent to which it “invades” our mind and body. If there was a  machine that could see through our bodies and visually capture the presence of the pain, how would that look?

Would it see how it changes our personality. How it makes us less tolerant of anything that requires effort because it is just another thing we have to do with less ability to do it.

Would it see how it changes our lifestyle because we have to pay a pain price for everything that we chose to do and how we have to negotiate with our pain.

Would it see how it changes our self image because it has modified our bodies and its movements.

I feel that it is important to separate the Pain from the Person. To be able to blame our pain for these losses. And to know and to let others know that if it were not for the pain, we would choose to do things differently.

It is when we assume the pain and become our pain that we lose ourselves. I think that we need to remind ourselves and others that it is not our choice to have the pain. But it is our choice how we choose to deal with the pain.

I have read of  primitive African cultures that  give their pain a name. That seems wise and would remind you that your pain has its own identity. Have you tried to identify your pain? give it a name, shape or form? I would love to hear what you have done.

About Mary Byrne Eigel

Before writing children’s books, Mary spent many years teaching in classrooms and creating art in her studio. She was born with bi-lateral hip dysplasia, a painful condition that causes normal activities, like walking, to be challenging. As a child, when Mary had to trek long distances, she often wished she had a wheelchair. For her, a wheelchair offered pain-free opportunities, not limitations. Mary grew up in Chicago, which is the lakefront inspiration for the town of Sail. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two dogs, Beaux and Trey.

One response »

  1. Hi there,
    I am a fellow Chronic Gal, and I have just started a new blog on WordPress…. I have been reading your posts, and I just wanted to let you know that I find your words inspirational. For a very long time I couldn’t separate “pain from person” and became my illness…. I think it is SO easy to do!
    I really love your blog, and I invite you to take a look at mine!

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