Who knows your pain

As I touched upon in my last post, I am going through a (fairly typical, for this time of the year) low in my health right now. When I wake each morning with just so much pain already in the body, before I even get up, I become profoundly aware of how, for anyone experiencing this kind of pain, it can be one of the most isolating things you could ever go through. Really, there is no conveying to another person just what such a relentless level of intensity and pain feels like in your body, when there is no escape from it. However, I am going to try to describe what I am experiencing right now, with all its frustrations, so please bear with me as I do have a much more positive reason for doing this; as you will see.

For me, this episode is the kind of pain that is literally everywhere in the body all at once…legs and feet, arms and hands, bladder, stomach, skin… but also so focused around the head and upper back that I feel like I am wearing a heavy helmet of pain; along with “hearing” an incredibly high frequency head tone that doesn’t abate (except in my dreams). This is the very typical experience of someone with chronic pain; a condition that, along with a jumble of other “chronic illnesses”, is becoming a modern-day epidemic.

Coping with all this at once, day after day, has the unsurprising knock-on effect of making my body feel incredibly fatigued, all the time; like having to walk through treacle to do anything physical. At the moment, I wake feeling quite wrung out with tiredness, regardless of how many hours sleep I have had; in fact, sometimes, the more hours I spend in bed, the worse I can feel the next day so there is a precarious balancing act. For all I continue with the great healthy foods, the juices, the short but diligent daily yoga, all the same careful steps to take care of myself that were gaining such good results before, I see myself backtracking now, putting on weight in spite of modest healthy meals. I’m incredibly sparky in my intellect but my ability to grasp or remember everyday things is slipping so much, I’m starting to feel quite stupid in a domestic context. In general, I feel so sluggish in my metabolism, heavy in all my limbs, not helped by the necessary slowness of my movements. It’s so hard not to feel disheartened or even defeated by the inexplicable reversal of what was feeling so positive and progressive. Yes, I have been here (many) times before.

My way is to soldier on through it, most of the time. I know that keeping moving is just so key, even when this is a struggle; also mixing up how long and where I sit, even when standing has me buckling with the ache of it. I can walk for about forty minutes at a middling pace, in fact that is far easier than to stand, but any longer is often too much and the cold weather, and some higher levels of symptoms, curtail even those short walks to something more frustrating for my dog, some of the time.

Spending most of my time alone is something I generally welcome, as a creative, an introvert, a highly sensitive person (HSP) and someone who likes to work  uninterrupted, yet it only adds to my awareness of pain. Thus, paradoxically the very lifestyle I have so consciously created for myself becomes a contributing factor at times when pain is relentless, which can feel as though even those things you set up for your best experience of life are turning on you. It can then be so hard to keep morale up, even though you should have everything you need to do what you want to be doing, since there is no reining in the least-desirable effects of the body when they, apparently have something to say.

For example, I have a brand new office space, one I was just so excited to create at the end of last year, so I could better differentiate work hours from relaxation and gain a different view. Yet, to be honest, I have had to spend most of my work time stretched out on the sofa with a table pulled over my lap for the last few weeks as the kneeling stool and office desk I use (which were ideal just a couple of months ago) can be unbearable for my painful knee joints and severe back and neck ache. Ironically, I have been just so productive over this time because it is my way of distracting myself from pain with an almost OCD level of activity. Yes, of course this feeds the fatigue but is more bearable than the empty spaces that leave me quite alone with the pain.

Why am I sharing all this when it’s not exactly in the same vein as my, normally, much more gung-ho approach to writing about my chronic health issues? Because, it occurs to me (a bit like the theme of my last post) that these things that I don’t express so readily are contributing to my pain; they are bottling me up, ramming the unspoken horrors inside of me and keeping them hidden in there, belied by my almost unfailing cheerful exterior. I also do it to say to others “its alright to talk about it” since I know I am far from alone in this zipped-mouth approach to chronic illness and pain.

Why do we hold it all so close to our chests? Well, part of it is that long experience has taught us that nobody really understands, hard as they might try, and we hate to see them struggle. Others lose interest in what we have to talk about, thus, start to avoid our company or even make fun of us for our so-called hypochondria if we speak it out loud. This, in the early days, can really sort the wheat from the chaff of family and friends….until the point when we stop talking about it at all. Even when we find a listening ear, we remain reticent to say it like it really is for fear of putting too much strain on those special friendship. When those times we spend with such people are the only respite we ever get from what can, otherwise, feel like such personal hellishness, the last thing we want to do is spoil those few opportunities we have for a bit of light relief.

The precariousness of sharing can be all the more acute when it comes to whoever is our nearest and dearest; for all they probably care, and are affected by our health issues, the most. In my case, I have witnessed more times that I can count how really, honestly, sharing how I am doing, what I am feeling, how defeated I can feel at times, knocks all the stuffing out of my husband. After such confessions, he becomes very quiet and morose; and adopts standpoints such as “why am I working so hard, what’s the point” if nothing he does to make our life better can help me to enjoy our life any more than I am physically capable of. This all makes him lose morale with everything and particularly withdrawn around me, like he is treading very softly in my company and has lost all his joie de vive, which loses for me the one compatriot I really have on this long-lonely journey. I know this is all because he loves me so much, but it leaves me even more high and dry at times when his lighthearted humour and the comforting normality of our banter might lift me up at the end of long-lonely days spent with just my pain for company. So, better, all round, for me not to share too much as it only hurts him….and both of us…it seems; ruining the pleasurable kind of relationship we have by flooding pain and seriousness into all its corners. It also doesn’t feel fair to burden him with my experience when he still has to go out to work every day, which I no longer do; he has more than enough on his plate and would really struggle to deal with both things.

Ultimately, I have had to learn what I can from all this; including that I cannot expect anyone else to carry this burden for me, and that all signs point at the inherent intimacy of pain, which only I can ever deal with it. The same goes for each of us, whatever version of pain we are experiencing right now. Whether physical or emotional, this is such a personal thing, there is literally no one else who can feel it like we do, even if they get to a close approximation by comparison with something else they have experienced. In fact, there’s a universal quality to this truth that unites us all in our seperateness…one that makes us all sentient beings, animals included. Like death itself, no one can ever do this pain-thing for us; it’s the one time we are truly on our own, which is why it presses all our panic buttons. Try as we might to deny, share or medicate it away; pain is a message to ourselves and only we can receive and decipher it.

So every aspect of my own pain is inviting me to dare to look at myself as clearly and unflinchingly as I am able to; without asking, or expecting, anyone else to deal with it on my behalf. There can be no avoidance of this kind of pain and no lasting distraction from it, though I can work at rising above it all the same; which is a choice I have to keep being prepared to make, and step towards with my effort, moment after moment after moment. This is purely my experience, designed to grow me and, whilst having others around can help, I have to be quite clear about whether they add more to my experience knowing (as best they ever can) what I am experiencing or by being in the blissful ignorance of (at least the worst aspects of) it that allows me to enjoy their company the most.

So, today, writing this is my outlet. Writing…period…is my outlet, which is why I do such a lot of it; yes, and create art. Both intensely inner pursuits which, oddly, for all they take me deeper into myself, they also take me far “out there” beyond the layer of pain; which is how they taught me there was so much more to the life experience than the physical reality we preoccupy with. Or, at least they take me away for a while, in bursts that, strung together, make the days far more manageable. As does the knowing “this too shall pass” (the second time I’ve drawn on this phrase in just a few short days) as, indeed, it shall because I have experienced its truth before, many times. Which gives me as much to go on as the expectation that the sun will rise each morning which…as yet….has never failed me. It’s a kind of faith that I have had to cultivate.

In this place of faith, I know nothing is really “wrong”. I watch myself go into these periodic deep-dives and there is an objective curiosity about it, like I am playing at having these experiences, real as they are, and fascinated to see what comes out of them this time. That part of me sees the progression through it all, which is the evolution of the self in relation to the interface of the ever-bewildering human experience; you could say the growth spurt out of the rub between them. Of course, I would like my evolution to take place with more grace, less discomfort…but I am at least able to receive the gifts of these experiences gracefully, with gratitude.

I also put this out there as a hand held out to others going through this level of intensity and wondering how they will manage another step. Those who, for all they have seen ups and downs over the years, still keep coming back to a level of disability and overwhelm that feels as bad as, or worse, than whatever they have had to cope with before. I say, I hear you and I am here to remind you that it’s not, really, all the same; those times that are better are different in their “betterness”, on each occasion. You, at the core of this, are the point of evolution and the way you are now, in your spirit and your level of awareness, is profoundly different to how it was back then, for all that the heavy ballast of circumstance weighted onto you feels like “more of the same” problems as ever. Hang onto this; remind yourself how the better times feel oh-so-much better each time they flood into you, like the fresh breeze of a spring morning through a window whose broken catch has suddenly released to allow the pain out…and more of “essential you” into the vast space that it leaves behind. Its as though pain leaves a sort of vacuum into which you now expand yourself even more fully than ever.

Those that have never known such pain would imagine all this to be gross hyperbole but it’s not…and we who have experienced it know it. Its like many (many) rebirths all in one lifetime and, at some level, we chose this intensity so that we would get to experience the profound expansions that follow.


End Note

All but the first paragraph of this post was written in a flow yesterday morning and it was a tremendous outlet for some strong emotions caught up in the body, which I could tell for how it was followed by all the symptoms of detox…intense heat, sweat, thirst…like  I had been in a sauna the whole time I was writing it.

Afterwards, I gained a degree of clarity that had been eluding me for some weeks; around this and other things. I was reminded of some truths of where I am in my personal evolution and how I had been, at some level, blocking the progression of that evolution out of a number of reasons, including inconvenience, disbelief, fear. Having got back onto its bandwagon, as it were, and invited that progression to continue, before Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 11.11.30.pngI went to sleep last night, I woke to a very different-feeling body than I had had for some time. I am not yet completely out of pain but I am already noticing some profound differences in how my body now feels and moves. One of the most startling thus, therefore, convincing was that the head tone I have been hearing without pause since October abated completely for a few minutes (just as I was having a key realisation about something to do with all of this) before returning at a much softer level; as though it was lifted up and dropped back into a much more balanced groove. Yes, when I was out of balance, which wasn’t all of the time but enough of it to exhaust the body, that tone was making a discordant “sound” that must have been driving my nervous system nuts. However, in all my most switched-on moments, I know that I am hearing the harmonics of the New Time era and that this is not “a problem” when I keep myself in balance.

By the way, the fact anyone is experiencing this kind of pain does not mean that they are doing anything “wrong”, nor does the fact so many other people have no such pain mean they are doing better than you at integrating these energies (nor is it a competition). These energies are incredibly new and most people over a certain age are not, yet, even aware of them (children are now being born with them, as it were, switched on but this has only been for about a decade). Those that are aware are taking different approaches to working with them; or who are choosing not to even try. See what I have to say, below, about AuraTransformation for the method I turned to, as I have been playing with these energies for several years now. I knew I had to find a way to make it more comfortable as, for me, there was no avoiding a full-steam-ahead aproach; it is the most compelling thing in my life. It was always, as it were, as though these energies were knocking at my door.

Though I have had this breakthrough, and have less acute pain, I am noticing how I very fatigued I am today…and in need of surrendering to the absolute breaks from all activity this calls for, when they occur, on and off. This is key; don’t equate working with these energies with “getting rid of symptoms” but with transforming them through working with them (which does, then, alter your experience of them as resistance, which is now gone or at least lessened, is such a big part of what you were experiencing before).  When sudden shifts occur, the nervous system can present as feeling extraordinarily fatigued (in a way that it didn’t feel able to own-up to before; since it was so busy fire-fighting all the time). This is a time for integration and listening respectfully to the body’s needs.

If you have been experiencing a lot of unusual pain and frustration lately then you might want to consider that there is a degree of evolution trying to happen in your experience that you are not welcoming with as much ease as you would if you understood it a little better; this useful article about the crystal energies explains some of the common physical symptoms. A process I underwent last year, called an AuraTransformation, facilitates that process by equipping the body to welcome those New Time energies. Even though I went through that process exactly a year ago, I realised yesterday that I had stopped working with it lately, for reasons as above….and, by remedying that (I started to reread all the information about AT since there are several books about it; which was enlightening as I found them so much more directly relatable to me now than before I had my AT….it was like ticking off a list of the experiences I have been having) I was able to get back on track to work with them, and make myself more comfortable. I am now fully committed to doing my homework to welcome these potent new energies, not just sitting back waiting for some sort of transformation to occur, which only stalled me more than it ever did, now that I have the infrastructure poised for something new to manifest. I plan to write more about my AT experiences soon.

So there are ways of working with this level of very-rapid physical evolution to keep up with where your spirit is taking you, which felt important to add to this post of (without editing out those very human responses to pain that I really wanted to share for once) for those of you that are open to a broader and more evolutionarily-focussed perspective. You can choose to stay in the land of “this is a physical problem I have” and your experiences will live out that expectation…or you can broaden the viewfinder.

That’s not to ignore or negate the physical experience of pain; and I do advocate finding receptive (not defeatist) others to air your emotions with, before they become locked in the body, which only repeats the cycle of pain. However, by working with your very-natural human responses to pain and emotion at the same time as working with all this at the conscious~energetic level, you can get through the territory with very much more grace, ease and sense of purpose. Finding a bodywork therapist who understands these new energies, not just one that is focussed on “problems” in the body tissues, can be just so helpful; I am seeing mine tomorrow 🙂

5 thoughts on “Who knows your pain

    1. I had to reread that Job story to remind myself…much food for thought in that! And thankyou. I just edited the last part to add a point about none of this being a sign of failing to receive the new energies (either pain…or not feeling pain). That feels important to include.

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      1. That’s so important to include! We’ve been socialized and scolded into believing that if we feel pain, we’ve done something wrong, or we’re bad or we “deserve it” or have “earned it”. Such nonsense, just as you point out so beautifully! Acceptance, gentleness, and self-love are key, even during the times we rail against it and want to know why!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I can’t imagine how it must be to cope with chronic pain – I’m rarely ill but when I was ill over Christmas – particularly with labyrinthitis which is like constant motion sickness – I felt very debilitated and it was hard to do anything. It’s amazing that you do all that you do while dealing with the pain.

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