Monday, May 30, 2016

Pain and Healing

As I was cleaning and decluttering my craft space I came across a folder I made...well maybe 2-3 years ago. It was a pain folder.  At that time I was having such horrible piriformis pain, in my right hip.  It was so bad I didn't want to walk or stand anywhere.  I had to time my errands and activity.  I tried everything I could think of or read online, ice, heat, massage, stretching, strengthening, herbal remedies and anti-inflammatory medication.  But nothing seemed to work.  I remember that at the end of the day I would just collapse in bed and cry, it just hurt.  It was such an inconvenience for everyone as I couldn't stand in one place for longer than 5 minutes and after standing, walking only helped for a few minutes more then that became painful.  I went from walking 2-4 miles a few times a week, to not walking at all except for what was necessary, the grocery store, errands etc.

It was really getting me down at some point.  I wondered if it would ever get any better.  So I sat down one day and made this folder.

On the inside I journaled all across the folder, top to bottom, then turned it over and wrote bottom to top and then across the folder sideways.  I just wrote down every negative thing I was associating with this pain: what it felt like, how it made me feel about myself, everything I couldn't do that I wanted to, how I felt the pain impacted my family, how much I hated living in this chronic pain.  Then I cut out pictures from magazines that represented the pain, and me and my feeling while dealing with the pain.  I painted and adorned those pages.  Then I added a pocket to hold a poem I found about pain.

On the outside I journaled everything positive.  Everything I wanted to do when I was pain free, how it would feel, how *I* would feel.  All my hopes about the outcome.  What I would be able to do with family and friends, my goals, my dreams, my expectations, as I knew I would find a way out of this.  Then I also did the same with the outside, painting over my journaling, adding pictures from magazines.  And I set this folder aside.

I finally found an answer, although it took the better part of a year to figure it out.  And now I am pain free, well except for the normal aches and pains, but that chronic debilitating pain it gone.  So this folder showed up again.  And a couple of days later we had friends over and a fire in our outside firepit, and I burned this folder along with a couple of letters waiting to be burned.  I am grateful for the experience, relieved it is over, and that I am stronger and more capable now.

Great way to heal is to get things out on paper if you ever need to express yourself or are having a difficult period. It is sort of cathartic to get it out on paper and highly recommended to help in any healing process, physical or emotional.  Try it the next time you are going through a tough time. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.

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