By: Mark St. Peter
Initially after trauma, you are left with all-consuming chronic pain and continuous discomfort. It is all you can think about and that is normal in the early stages of recovery. You must work to get through the pain. It pays no value to obsess over your day-to-day situation. There will be ebbs and flows in your progress and some phases of progression out the trauma that can’t be skipped or softened, only navigated. With time, you acclimate to your new world and the clouds start to lift. Your mind isn’t consumed by pain anymore and you can start focusing your energy on other aspects of life. This is your moment to focus on things you enjoy and your long-term goals.
It is important to find something worth your time, energy, and love. It also helps to surround yourself with folks with whom you can share stories and people that will make you laugh and smile and bring color into your life. Avoid individuals that bring you down and call your possibilities limitations. Having direction is the key to maintaining good spirits in the face of chronic pain.
The road is long so keep your milestones small and immediate at first. Then, as you grow, grow your ambitions. Regardless of the time or size of your goals, it is essential that you set them. Goals give you purpose to endure. Some goals my clients have set have been as simple as wiggling your toes, walking your daughter down the aisle, returning to your favorite hike. A grander goal I have heard is raising the world’s awareness to healing possibilities.
When the brain is hyper-focused on a new task, it distracts attention and energy away from the circuits perpetuating your pain. So start there. Try a new hobby or activity that you have been putting on the back burner. My clients have eases their pain through mediation, painting, learning a new language, and crossword puzzles. The important message is to know that there is tomorrow with possibilities you can’t see today.