Updated: Oct 1
When you develop chronic pain through accident or disease, you can think you and your world are falling apart. You may come to believe that nothing is strong enough to bring your life back to a functioning whole.
Like Humpty Dumpty, you need all the king’s men and women, especially you, to put yourself back together again. Who are those men and women? Who is the “you” that helps the most?
First, look to the “cheerleaders” in your life right now. Which of your friends or family, or providers, can you count on to lift you up and help you reassemble when you feel broken and discouraged? It is potentially almost anyone. It might be your cousin, a mentor at work, your long-time friend from 7th grade or someone you share hobbies or interests with. Whoever qualifies as a supporter, invite them to be part of your recovery. Tell them that having chronic pain is difficult and that you are being intentional in needing a community with you to assist and root for you as you recover. These are the people around you who reflect to you who you are despite the limitations from your pain, and what you value.
Let them know the relationship you have with them is part of the “glue” you need to get yourself together and get your life back. Bring new people into your life.
You will be interacting with various medical personnel. You are likely to meet doctors, nurses, PAs, PTs, massage therapists and other patients. Help these people be on your team. After all, for all of us, relationships are the foundation that holds our world together, and helps us survive and thrive.
No matter what part of your world a person comes from—a medical provider, a family member, friend, co-worker even the clerk at the grocery store—these are the people in your world. Give them a chance to see you as a person with value and do the same for them.