Guilt...we have experienced it all our lives. Now that you are experience Chronic Pain, the guilt seems to be there constantly.
You are unable to do the thing you used to, you are unable to play as much with your children, attend all the functions you used to, hold all the events/holidays at your house, you do not visit family and friends as much, you are not able to go out with your partner, you are not able to be with your partner fully. GUILT GUILT GUILT....can you feel anymore?
Who makes you feel this guilt? Yourself, the people around you, or both? I will say this it is no one but yourself that can make you feel guilt. Everyone goes through a time in their life that they are not able to do what they used to, whether it is earlier or later in life. People may not understand what you are going through, but only you are allowing their comments to have the affect on you that they do.
Here is an example, years ago I started having Christmas dinner at my house, both sides would come my side and my childrens paternal side including their father and grandmother. Over the years the dishes started becoming less and less, instead of 10 there was 8, then 6....it was the preparation and clean up, and as the years went by the comments would come from the kids paternal grandfather. "Oh we got lazy this year", "You know a nice variety gives your guests more", "That lasagna you made the first year was really good". My mother was really good and explained she has to first do christmas morning, and then cook all day, and clean up after...she is tired and she needs to cut things down more. It used to make me feel guilty I could not live up to standards, and that I was not giving the guests everything they wanted. Then I thought about it, why should I feel guilty, if she wants to help so I can make more dishes, she could come earlier, she did bring her own food which was very nice and considerate of her, but if she wanted something specific she could make that instead and bring it, I need to take care of myself, I am still cooking a very big meal that everyone else seems to enjoy.
For christmas 2010, I was feeling no pain, but still didnt want to push my body, so I decided to cook more and use disposable cutlery and paper plates and my mom said she would take care of the other dishes. Great more food was more important to me than fancy cutlery and plateware. There were a few comments that just bounced right off me. The kicker was in 2011, the christmas I held again, and the kids paternal grandmother showed up with a gift, first time in 9 years she had showed up with a gift for me...can we guess what it was? A new set of cutlery. I simply thanked her, my mom and I had a good laugh, and we served the dinner on paper plates and cutlery.
I changed my perception of how I should be...and this did not allow me to feel guilt. Who you were before you had the pain is not who you are now. You will never be that person again. You need to find a new perception, one that includes what you are going through now. Those people who want to make the comments, who want to say you can do more, tell them where to go. Simply do what makes you happy, selfish no, you are happy, which means the people who are around you are seeing you happy instead of grumpy, cranky, short tempered, and they will be happy.
Other peoples perception is putting stress on yourself, the only perception that matters is yours. If you are happy with your perception, which should not include other peoples expectations of you, then you will see slowly how other people will be happy with it too.
A person offers you help, a new tactic that has worked for them, a specially designed program that may help you, but instead of thinking about it, instead of researching it, you have already said no. Why?
A walk down to the end of the street, NO. A massage, NO. A specially designed exercise program, NO. A special diet, NO. The Reason. I already eat healthy, I don't like people touching me, I am in too much pain.
What is the fear, what makes your answer NO, without first thinking about it.
I remember people throwing everything out at me, and trust me there are some quack doctors out there (one actually gave me a list which included putting a lawn chair in the shower so I no longer had to stand in the shower), however before you have had the time to think about it, to decide if it is a good decision for you or not, you have already made the decision.
The biggest reason, excuse, explanation that I get for the NO answer is that I am in pain, people just do not understand that I am in pain and can't do anything. The medications do not work, what you are currently does not work, but you do not want to try something that may work and ease the pain, because it can cause you pain. YOU ARE ALREADY IN PAIN. Worst thing that happens is that you try something, you are in pain still, maybe a little more pain, and you are to rest for the day. What happens if it works, what happens if you feel something good?
Lets not look at the negative the next time someone offers you a suggestion, next time look at it as it could possibly work.
I started reading a book this weekend, and a few things from it made me think. The book is "The Way Of The Herbs" authored by Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D.
Throughout my fight with Chronic Pain, more specifically diet, all but 2 doctors neglected to tell me the importance of balance. Obviously I was explained exercise, diet, and pacing, however that is not full balance. The body has been tended to, but what about the mind and the soul? Only 2 out of the many doctors I have had the pleasure of meeting brought the balance to my attention, and although the drugs, vitamins, herbs, dietary changes may offer some relief of the symptoms until the underlying cause of the disease is looked at, the actual disease will never be attended to.
I have a Doctor who helped me greatly to a pain free life. In one of my first meetings with him, he explained to me 2 eye awakening tidbits. First when Doctors are in medical school they are told that 50% of all they are taught will be useless, the question is who decides which information is usless? The second and the most important, to me, that Doctors are taught to treat the symptom not the cause. Now not all Doctors follow this practice, but far to many do, and many in the Chronic Pain area certainly do. If you have a headache you are given a prescription, if you are in pain you are given a prescription, if you are depressed prescription, when is the cause looked at?
Doctors, and the people who are living with the disease all need to take a look at what is happening mentally (past and present), spiritually, and physically not just the physical. Should you not address an event that happened, a death, abuse, a loss, but instead "sweep it under the carpet" it does affect the balance of our bodies. Very few will take notice unless something drastic comes into play, for many it is pain.
We need to heal ourselves on all aspects, and any type of assistance whether medical or natural, will not have the desired affect
Why a Life Coach, you have a doctor, if not multiple, you have your family and friends, a support system, why would you be in need of a Life Coach?
Very simple, not everyone is in need of one, not everyone benefits from working with a Life Coach, but some people do.
A doctor you go and see for medication renewals, check ups, to see if they can help medically with the pain, exhaustion, depletion of energy, depression, and so on. In most cases the doctor does very little to what you are expecting or hoping for.
A Life Coach, actually let me restate that, myself as a Life Coach (I cannot speak for other life coaches) is there to open yourself to new ideas, challenge your beliefs, step outside the box. Imagine having someone who has experienced some of the same symptoms, pain, and daily obstacles as you, and willing to listen without judgement, challenging your fears, but their only goal to help you reach the life you aspire to.
Instead of waiting in a room for a doctor to give you something to survive, I want to help you see you are what you need to live, and assist you in achieving it.