Recovery: Chronic Pain + Illness
Not all change is immediate; especially for chronic pain + illness challenges, improvement may only be seen in retrospect. Noticing positive changes is made even more difficult when past trauma + pain have forced us into a habit of ‘leaving our bodies’ in order to numb out.
For some, the healing journey looks like subtle, cumulative recovery made over a long period of time.
Using T.V., social media, food, etc. (there are many) as a coping mechanism to find comfort while in acute, chronic pain + illness is sometimes a necessary strategy. I’ve been there – I see you! And yet, once we begin healing, these same survival strategies can begin to weigh us down and hold back progress.
If you’ve been on the healing journey, but still feel stuck in the same old cycle of behaviors – it might be time to re-inhabit your body and to bring more loving awareness to your actions. The next time you catch yourself reaching for that ‘comfort habit,’ check in with your body. Are you in pain in this moment? Or do you feel well enough + empowered enough to choose differently. Even a small step to re-train and redirect ourselves can turn our day around: here’s how:
- Practice presence in every moment. Use meditation or other practices to make awareness more accessible.
- Catch yourself when you’re on ‘auto-pilot’ reaching for the remote, your phone, or the fridge door out of habit.
- Check in – do a body scan and honestly assess what you are feeling + why you may be in need of comfort.
- If you are in pain – honor that! If not – lovingly acknowledge that you feel better, and will now make a better choice for yourself.
Your choice in that moment could be as easy as drinking a glass of water, stretching for five minutes, walking around the block – whatever feels life-giving. It may help to have a pre-made list of things you love doing handy – waiting somewhere in your home! Afterwards, check in with your body again – one small choice after the next is how we create the life we want to live!
A few conscious steps can remind us of our *wellness* and put us back in the driver’s seat of control.
This method works so well for catching ourselves in negative thought patterns as well as our old, chronic pain behavioral habits. As we are hurtling into the Age of Aquarius, a major theme is moving into a heart-centered approach to life. I truly believe there will be no place for the old ‘hurts, habits, and hang-up’s’ that keep us playing small, focused on our own survival, and keeping us from fully thriving and LOVING this one life we have to live. Our future WELL selves need us to start now, by seeing the progress which has already been made + actively inviting more in.
In need of support? I’m here for you! Though the journey may appear arduous, we do *not* have to do it alone.