By Gregory Mooneyhan.
Editor’s Note: I read our commentary sections practically every day for a couple of reasons—first, I want to get a sense of what people think about the article we’ve published—second, I may find a new voice that I’d like to share with our larger audience. I saw a post from Gregory Mooneyhan, a chronic pain sufferer in Indiana, a stay at home dad and a guy who has an opinion on most things.
So I reached out to him—as I do with readers from time to time— and suggested he write a piece for the National Pain Report—on anything he wanted.
He wrote on the sense of isolation that pain patients feel and what he does to deal with it. The story will sound familiar to many of you.
Suffice it to say that pain affects just about every activity someone wants to do. When these situations arise, all you can do is try your best to make the most out of the hand you’ve been dealt. Some of us have been dealing with pain for years while some have only had to endure it for a short while.
Gone are the days of riding bikes in the park, swimming at your local lake or a pond, and most “painfully”, those quality intimate moments between you and your loved one. We’ve all been there. An intimate moment with your loved one is lost because you are hurting too much.
We didn’t ask for this life and the stress that comes with it. It’s often too much to bear. Depression and anxiety have played a big part in my life as I attempt to cope with the changes that have happened. As humans, most of us are creatures of habit and a decent percentage of us resent change when it applies to our everyday life. That is never more evident than when you have to stop doing things you’ve enjoyed due to physical limitations.
It’s very hard to teach an old dog new tricks and yet the best way to handle living in chronic pain is to adapt. Pick up new hobbies that keep your mind strong, start reading articles online or learn how to play an instrument. I keep constant contact with three or four of my friends who know what I’m going through, because they have either gone through it in the past or are still currently going through it.
A great support system is vital in maintaining a positive outlook on life. This not only includes the various doctors involved in your case but ultimately your loved ones. While my wife can sympathize with me and be a shoulder to cry on, she can’t empathize because she doesn’t know what chronic pain feels like. My best advice is to realize that you aren’t a bad person who deserves to live life this way, find a great support system (this could be friends, family or on various websites, such as this website) pick up new hobbies and just in general, try to be as optimistic as possible about your condition or conditions.