I’ve been meaning to make this post for a couple of days now, but haven’t really known how to put it into words, plus I’ve been a tad distracted and a bit busy with other things. I thought I’d give it a go and try to explain how pain can realistically change the nicest person you’ve ever met, to someone who you hardly even recognise (Think; Subdued, aggressive, pessimistic)
Ever since having my injections done, I’ve had the surprising pleasure of experiencing what life is like with, and without pain. This has given me a chance to actually compare myself to both instances. I can compare my personality to when I’m in pain and when I’m not, then compare how I see the world for both cases too.
Not surprisingly… Being pain-free, or at least experiencing a much lesser pain, is a more enjoyable experience than being at the level of pain that I am used to. Yet I’ve noticed that within myself, I feel a lot better, a lot healthier really. I feel like I can breathe a bit better and don’t have to necessarily worry about what I can and can’t do. It’s almost like the pain is constantly reminding me that I “can’t” do something, when I know that I actually can, pain or no pain, but this feeling is actually always making me think and almost, second guess everything that I do.
I’ve also noticed that over the past few days, going up to nearly a week now, I have slept much MUCH better. I used to have an alarm that would wake me up at roughly 4:30 every morning (give or take half a hour) so that I could take some painkillers, before I got up properly so that it’d be a bit easier when waking up. For nearly a week now, I have had no need for that alarm, as I have woken up naturally and wide awake at that time. I still take my tablets, have a drink and perhaps just bore myself for 10 minutes on my phone, before I fall back to sleep easily. Then, once I have to wake up properly… Again, the same thing happens. I wake up naturally, usually just before the alarm, and I’m wide awake as soon as I open my eyes.
This is a HUGE difference to what it used to be like when I’d be in agony. I’d struggle to wake up to take my tablets, and when I woke up properly, I’d sometimes switch off the alarm and fall back to sleep, or I’d sit up in bed, and still be falling asleep. Eventually, I’d have to force myself awake and even then, I’d sit in bed until roughly 45 minutes before I’d go and see the other half on her dinner. Now… I’m up nearly straight away, brush my teeth, make a brew, make breakfast and yes, I will go and sit back in bed… But it’s usually on top of a made bed, so it’s not as if I’m actually “in” bed. That’s purely because I wont go and sit on the sofa’s downstairs, because they’re unbelievably uncomfortable.
On a side note, from the other halves perspective, this is perfect as usually she’d be the one that’s up first and even then, she’d spend a good 40 minutes trying to wake me up and when she eventually did, I’d be groggy and probably in a horrible mood until I woke up properly.
Slightly repeating my Staying Active, Keeping Busy & Pain-Free?! post, I’m also a lot more active ever since I’ve experienced a reduction in pain. It’s almost not the fact I am a bit more active… I WANT to be a bit more active. I do actually want to walk around, even if it’s just a bit, I do want to do it, because it feels good when I’m active and it feels good when I’m walking around because I’m actually doing something, or I have a reason to be walking and keeping active.
When I was in pain.. I used to cringe at even the thought of walking around, because I knew how much pain not only that I was in, but also how much pain it would cause me that the time, and in the long run. In the long run though, it’s difficult, because I still get stiff and in slight pain now, if I’ve been active all day, but it almost seems justified, like I’ve “earned” it. The same thing goes for feeling tired too. When I was in pain, and I’d not do anything… I’d be incredibly tired. This is because of the amount of pain I was in, and because I was constantly having a mental battle in my head to do things, or to somehow deal with the pain. I was tired physically and mentally. Now… My mind is still somewhat clearer, and as you read above, I wasn’t and still am not, tired when I wake up so at the end of the “active” day, when I say I’m tired, I actually feel a bit better because there is a reason behind why I’m tired.
It is one of the most embarrassing things saying to someone “I’m tired” and them saying “Yeah, but you haven’t done anything all day” or saying “well it’s because you haven’t done anything all day”… I understand that… But it’s difficult for me to do things, and that’s not the exact reason why I’m tired. I’m tired because I’ve been in agony all day, my spines been on fire, and my mind has been racing at 1,000,000 miles per hour trying to get myself motivated to do the simple things that you can do without any problems.
It’s nice to actually have a reason to why I’m tired now. Also, on the other hand, I don’t feel so tired if I spend the day doing nothing, which is actually a really good bonus! Sure I’ll yawn, but that’s not actually because I’m tired, that’s because I’m just yawning uncontrollably for no at all reason!
My personality also changes when I’m in pain too. The other half has also spotted that I seem a lot happier over the past week or so, that I’ve been in a long time. This is only half true. I’m not so much happier “now”, I’m still experiencing the same amount of happiness, it’s just that now, I feel like I can express it more because it’s not being suppressed by my pain. It’s a horrible feeling knowing that you’re happy, but knowing that the smile you’re putting on is just that… A put on smile. Not because you’re unhappy, but purely because you have no energy to actually let all of your inner happiness out.
Pain is probably one of the biggest suppressors the human body experiences. When pain is set in the body for a long time, it starts to act like a parasite. Slowly but surely, it takes over you and feeds from you. It casts an incredibly large shadow over all of your positive emotions, making it nigh-on impossible to try and express or even show them, without aggravating the pain. Optimistic people can turn into pessimists, because they feel that the pain will never stop, so why bother? Happy people will turn into sad people, because the pain is something that is stopping them from expressing their happiness. Extrovert (outgoing) people will become very introvert (subdued) people because in order to be an extrovert, you need a lot of energy and to be stimulated constantly… The pain takes away near enough all of your energy, and makes any form of stimulation towards you or your body, futile.
I changed completely. The person I am now, is completely different to the person I was a few months ago. Granted, I’m still in pain… But I’m not in much pain at all. I changed to all of those negative emotions above, and it is all because of the pain. The thing is… Like a parasite… It worms its way in so slowly, that you don’t even know that your emotions are changing from positive, to negative, until you actually gain access to those positive emotions again and you think “Wow… Was I really like that?”
The answer of course, is yes. Yes, you were like that. Yes… I was like that.
Pain changes everything. The way you think. The way you see the world. The emotions that you feel, show and express. The relationships you have with other people because they don’t understand. It aggravates you. It annoys you. It winds you up, then instead of taking the blame for it, makes you blame someone else, and that someone else maybe the closest person to you.
It’s not their fault you’re in pain, so why are you blaming them? Why are you treating them badly? Just because your own body is treating you badly, doesn’t mean you can treat others badly.
It’s the pain. Honestly. It seriously is the pain.
So if you’re reading this and you understand every word on this page, I want you to know that it can get better. It is mind over matter in some cases, but if pain can be relieved, you can get access to these positive emotions again. Yet, if you’re reading this and you know of someone in pain, that is expressing the exact negative emotions I described… It’s not their fault. Inside them is an aggressive parasite, that is stopping everything from functioning properly. Pain stops people from behaving the way they want to.
Pain changes everything… Yet people who have never experienced such pain, some don’t necessarily understand. Be patient. Be a listener. Console and guide people.
I’m so grateful that I can say that my pain relief is at least having some effect. I’m over the moon by it. Yet one day, I know it’ll stop. Will I have the injections again? Maybe. For now though, I’m just enjoying the moments that life brings me, and truly living one day at a time at a level of pain that I have, never experienced before.
Pain rating: 2