I know, I’ve been there.
So, how to we keep from sinking into despair and hopelessness?
Not Just Point A to Point B
Things swing back around, and sometimes it feels like we’re right back at the same place, yet it isn’t exactly the same. The very fact that we’ve been here before can make a difference. We can view it from a new perspective. Because we’ve been here and left, we know this place is temporary. We will leave it again. And we will never return in exactly the same way to exactly the same place.
Yes, sometimes it feels like things are getting worse. Sometimes we’ve done too much, we’ve gone over our limits, or the new treatment we’re testing is backfiring. That happens and it feels like it's setting us back. But it can also be something else.
A Deeper Level of Healing
Often, at the darkest point, when we have to pull on the deepest part of our inner strength to go on, that’s the point that we’re spiraling up. We enter a new part of our path and often, that’s when something new shows up. New resolve, a new strength, new information, a new treatment, a new interest, a new friend.
Are we spiraling aimlessly? I think we’re spiraling inward to the core of ourselves. That’s what pain does. It tests everything, it reveals everything about us to us, it is like a very strict spiritual master that will absolutely not tolerate anything but truth, honesty, and integrity.
Outward and Upward
The landscape may look familiar, but we are different. And, in the course of traveling through pain, of healing pain, we may make the journey inward many times, but we always come out again somehow evolved, somehow different for the experience.
We can invite that change to come in, we can anticipate it, we can look for it and, in that way, understand better our individual healing path.
Because healing isn’t a straight line, it’s a spiral, and the spiral travels on multiple levels, inward and downward, but then outward and upward. All part of the healing path.
Sarah Anne Shockley has lived with nerve pain from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome since 2007. She co-produced and directed Dancing From the Inside Out, a multi-award winning documentary on AXIS Dance Company (integrating wheelchair and able-bodied dance). She has been a columnist for Pain News Network and is a regular contributor to The Mighty. Her book, The Pain Companion will be released from New World Library, June, 2018. She is also author of The Light at The Center of Pain, Living Better While Living With Pain, and 30 Days of Living Better While Living With Pain.