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Turn Resistance to Chronic Pain Issues into Assistance

I have found myself in places I would rather not be. Being in pain is one of them. I have spent a lot of time and energy “trying not to be there.” I have denied my pain by refusing to recognize the importance of daily exercise, and suffered for it. I have challenged my pain by doing things I knew I should not do, and suffered for it. I have refused to accommodate my pain by doing things like wearing sensible shoes, and suffered for it.

A speaker I heard last week, Jaison, spoke about how we can change “resistance to assistance”  by altering our beliefs. Accepting that “You are in your rightful place” allows the energy you might spend denying a situation to be spent assisting with the situation.

Several years ago I was told that my blood sugar levels were high and I needed to see someone about controlling it. Expecting that this meant nothing more getting a lecture and another brochure, I willingly made the appointment. When I arrived the specialist took out a glucose meter and said “I want you to start taking your blood sugar levels every day.” I could have bolted at that moment. It took a lot of energy  not to flee.

I am not sure how much of what she said I actually heard.  Simultaneously echoing inside my head was,  “I don’t belong here, she is mistaken. My blood sugars aren’t that bad. I am a good person, I should not be hearing this.”

This was several years ago. I have accepted this diagnosis, but also realize that I still have resistance. I still need assistance with my resistance. When I realize that, like Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much,” it is a red flag to me that my resistance is strong and I am going to need a lot of assistance.  It is my choice whether to spend energy resisting or assisting.

Do you have a chronic pain related issue that you struggle to accept? What types of assistance have you had to use?

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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.

2 responses »

  1. Mary, this is a tough question. When I struggled with back pain, I did everything I could not to resist but to accept. Then it became acceptance related to time and forgetting. When I walked, the pain departed and it was easier to accept because the pain was either gone or the walking made me forget it.

    As for the blood sugar, I would listen to your doctor and discover what your levels are. Who knows? If you get them straightened out you might feel better over all.

    with best regards, Beth

  2. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Beth, thanks for your advice. I have been successful in controlling my blood sugars and respect the need to do it. But initially it was so hard to accept. What I came to know was that it was not about food, but about what food meant to me. And that I was using food to dull my pain. So it felt like my pain killer was being yanked. It was my relationship with food that ultimately needed healing.
    Blessings, Mary

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