Pain can destroy who we are.
Often, it feels as though pain comes along like a thief in the night and takes away part of ourselves. It creeps into the deepest crevices of our beings, then wears us down until there is virtually nothing left.
It can destroy who we are.
But it is important to remember that there’s more to us than pain.
I am Not My Pain but Unfortunately, Pain is Part of Me
I live with pain all the time. Pain is part of me. But it’s important for me to remember that it is only part of me.
Every post I write on my blog tends to be about living with pain, therefore it might well seem as though that’s all there is to me. But it’s not. It’s only part of me. It’s not all of me. I am not my pain.
So Who am I?
I’m a wife, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a friend…
I used to be a Mum to gorgeous four-legged friends. Sadly, we no longer have them but they were a special part of my life and will always have a huge part of my heart.
I can’t work because of my pain, but this has given me time on my hands to do other things. I started the End Trigeminal Neuralgia awareness page and support group to try to give free and accurate information to fellow TN sufferers.
Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at various hobbies and crafts. Pain is demanding and controlling but I don’t want it to stop me from doing everything I enjoy. I look for easier ways of doing everything and have had to learn to ask for help so that I don’t miss out.
I’ve cross-stitched, made tapestries, embroidered, made jewellery and crafted handmade cards. I went to an art class a few years after I had to take ill-health retirement and discovered a new and unexpected love of drawing and painting.
And of course, I love to write. As well as this blog, I’ve also written fiction and poetry.
My Pain Doesn’t Stop Me from Being Me
My pain stops me from doing many things, but it doesn’t stop me from being me. I am still me.
I am still a compassionate person who can listen to someone else’s problems with empathy and understanding. I still have patience, despite my pain. I still have an interest in what’s going on in the world and get angry and upset at inequality and discrimination.
I like to help people when I can and I’m honest, trustworthy and considerate. I try to be positive and I am nearly always that glass half full person.
My Pain is a Huge Part of my Life
I live with intense facial pain due to trigeminal neuralgia every day, chronic back and rib pain due to scoliosis and I have a few other painful conditions. There’s no denying that my pain is a huge part of my life. It tries to take over. It disrupts plans. It affects everything. It puts obstacles in my path on a daily basis. But…it is part of me. It is not all of me.
You Are Not Your Pain
It may be part of your life but it is not who you are. You are still you.
If you’ve forgotten who you are, it’s time to remind yourself that you’re not just someone living in pain. It’s time to remind yourself that there’s more to you.
Look in a mirror
Look at that face looking back at you.
Look into those eyes.
Look really deeply.
Try to look beyond the pain.
Keep looking and smile at your reflection.
See how your eyes change when you smile?
That’s the real you.
You are still there, despite your pain.
Don’t Let it Take Your Personality
Write a list of your good personality traits. Imagine that you’re filling out an application form for a job. You need to sell yourself, don’t you?
Are you kind and compassionate? Are you patient and understanding? Are you generous? Are you loving and caring?
You might feel this exercise seems arrogant or vain, but it’s not. You need to relearn who you are and be proud of yourself. You need to sell yourself – to yourself.
Remind Yourself About Yourself
Think about the following:
- Who do you love?
- What are your hobbies?
- What makes you happy?
- What’s your favourite book?
- What’s your favourite music?
- What makes you smile and laugh?
- What kind of movies do you enjoy?
- Where is your favourite place to visit?
- Who are the people you like to see most?
Go through that list and find those people you love and hug them. Get back to a hobby or start a new one. Find the things or the people that make you happy. Pick up that book or watch a movie. Play some music. If you’re able to, get out of the house and go to that favourite place or visit those favourite people. Do whatever makes you happy. Distract yourself from your pain, even if it only lasts for a few minutes at a time.
Don’t Let Pain Destroy Who You Are
When you start looking, you will hopefully find yourself again because you are still there beneath that pain. There is so much more to you.
Don’t allow it to destroy who you are.
You are not your pain.
Thank you for reading this post.
Did it resonate with you? Do you feel as though you’ve lost part of yourself? Please leave a comment and click the follow button to receive updates when I post.