Friday, April 10, 2009

Impact of Pain

Most of us who live with chronic illness/disabilities have one significant thing in common. We suffer with pain in some form either intermittent or chronic. The severity of the pain can fluctuate from minimal to severe and may change at the drop of a hat. We wake up never knowing what the day has in store for us.

Does pain have an effect on our emotions? I know it certainly does mine. I find myself more irritable, with less patience, less tolerant and more sensitive to what others might say or do.

Then there is depression which can be a problem in and of itself but also usually occurs hand in hand with pain. It is a vicious cycle that we deal with in our lives of illness and disability.

What we must remember is each and every person has their own daily struggles and trials to contend with as best they can. Each individual also has their own way of coping.

Yes, of course we should be mindful of one anothers feelings at all times. None of us are perfect and sometimes words are a cry for help, feelings of frustration or an indicator of someone in deep distress. My wish and hope is this, that instead of responding negatively we try to respond with kindness and compassion. If for whatever reason that isn't possible for us then we should just withdraw from the situation. That is ok too. Sometimes we have to think of ourselves and just don't have the energy to cope effectively with someone else at that particular time.

Practice mindful speech by using Socrates' triple filter. Ask yourself: Is is true? Is it kind? Is it helpful?

Lucy McDonald