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Participation in the conference call is free. Standard long distance charges apply to the phone call. The conference calls are not taped.
Next Call: April 6, 2017 – 1:30 – 2:30pm ET
Topic: Redefining yourself after Chronic Pain
Successful living: redefining living with chronic pain
Excerpt from Joletta Belton (Jo) http://www.mycuppajo.com/successful-living/
I would like to make a plea. A plea to stop framing pain as the enemy, a thing to be battled, defeated, beat, eradicated. A thing not to be tolerated, to be vilified and stamped out. Perhaps our emphasis on pain as evil, pain as punishment, pain as suffering is only serving to make pain worse.
—- The author includes a long section in here, but I edited it to keep my theme.
So can we talk about living with pain differently?
No more battle to be won, which means it can also be lost and that too often is. No more war. No more intolerance for living with pain.
Living with pain is more normal than we recognize. It is a part of many people’s lives. In fact, there are HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of people living with pain right this very minute. We’re not defective, deficient, diminished. We’re not less. Not broken, dysfunctional, abnormal. We’re just people. People who happen to be living with pain. We can be successful and better and all that good stuff, even if the pain is still there.
Can you see us? Can you see what the idea of success being a pain-free life might be doing to us? What a never-ending war against pain might be like to wage when you’re the one living with pain?
Can we define success differently so that there are more ways of winning? More ways of being better? More ways of being successful?
To that end, might living well, living purposefully and meaningfully whether there’s pain or not, be a better measure of success rather than whether or not there is pain in that life?
The world I want
I’d like to see a world where all those outcome measures from all those research studies that aren’t pain elimination (which isn’t even a typical outcome measure!) be emphasized. A world where we can call it a win if we are more accepting of our pain, struggling with it less, catastrophizing less, less fearful, less anxious, less depressed, more active, or more engaged with the world again.
A world where we are considered successful when we are pursuing things that matter to us, loving and being loved, laughing and crying, being of service, empowering and supporting one another, and experiencing life, not just pain.
A world where it’s also ok for pain to be a part of life.
I am successful, even with pain.
I’m of a mind that it is entirely possible to live an active, valued, meaningful life in the presence of pain. That it is even possible to love our lives in the presence of pain. That we can be successful and still have pain. We can be better and still have pain. We can live well and still have pain.
We can be pretty freakin’ awesome, strong, capable, loving, creative, kind, funny, supportive, encouraging, kick ass human beings and still have pain.
I am of a mind that there are endless possibilities within our limitations and with our pain.
I’m of a mind that the pursuit of those possibilities is a better measure of our success. What is meaningful to us? What do we want to be doing that we’re not? What steps can we take to get closer to those things?
That’s what I want successful to look like.
That’s how I want successful to be defined.
Who’s coming with me?
Joletta Belton (Jo)
In the calls, the leader often refers to a book written about pain management. This book, Making the Invisible Visible, has valuable information for people with chronic pain, their families and providers. It is an excellent resource for how to navigate the challenges of chronic pain. Order Making the Invisible Visible for $25 plus shipping.
The Pain Connection Live Conference Call is led by Gwenn Herman, LCSW-C (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and Founder and Executive Director of Pain Connection, a US Pain Foundation program.
Each Call will have a topic dealing with different ways of coping with chronic pain and developing new skills. Participants have the option to discuss the topic or remain silent. Breathing techniques and guided imagery will be taught in the last 15 minutes of each call.
Pain Connection Live is open to people with chronic pain, family members, significant others, health care professionals and concerned individuals. Please respect each person’s right to express their feelings.
Afternoon calls are held on the first Thursday of the month from 1:30 – 2:30 PM EST.
Evening calls are held on the second Thursday of the month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM EST.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-910-2462.