Writing Your Way Through… Aches of Pain

Does your body hurt? Are you battling a chronic illness?

What do you do to remedy those difficult and painful moments?If you’ve ever dealt with ongoing pain you know it can cause terrible bouts of suffering, Suffering can take you to places you never knew exists.  Often it goes hand-in-hand with physical pain. Pain can come packaged as mental or emotional pain too. But, sometimes suffering or pain can bring creativity too. Lately, I’m finding that creative ideas flow a little more freely when working through physical pain. I no longer just grin and bear the pain. I write my way through it!

Realizing that pain comes in varying degrees. Sometimes it’s little, but sometimes it hurts like heck!  No two days are the same. Likewise, painful days come packaged in different sizes and intensities. When the days are the most difficult I find that quick rhyming verses flow rapidly and endlessly. During low painful moments thoughts of longer paragraphs of prose collect in my mind. But, I have a difficult time transferring those thoughts to paper. So, I record them on a digital recorder so they won’t be lost. Later, on pain-free days the thoughts are added to books or articles that I’m writing.

Since finding out that writing through pain has helped me therapeutically, I’ve looked for books on library bookshelves about the topic. “Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives” written by Louise Desalvo indicates that numerous studies show people who wrote about traumatic events, and included the details of their emotions, initially had negative feelings to overcome.  However, they often experienced numerous long term positive benefits. Those benefits were both mental and physical, including improvements to the immune system. She says “when we deal with unassimilated events, when we tell our stories and describe

rainbowsour feelings and integrate them into our sense of self, we no longer must actively work at inhibition. This alleviates the stress of holding back our stories and repressing or hiding our emotions, and so our health improves.”

DeSalvo offers the reader ideas to keep in mind while writing through your pain.
      1. Write regularly and in a relaxed way.
      2. Watch with relaxed awareness what occurs as you write.
      3. Accept yourself and your work, rather than judge it.
      4. Be patient; write routinely.

The following poem, “Aches of Pain” was written during an extremely painful morning:

Can we do this some other day?
Ankles, knees, fingers, and hips too,
Don’t want to bend and move and do the things they usually do.
Pills, potions, and ointments don’t satisfy,
The creaks and moans…I’m about to cry.
Canes, walkers, and braces fall short,
Regardless of what the orthopedic doctors report.
Pain pain go away,
I’ve too much work to do today.
So much reading, writing, and long distance driving on the roads,
And, I can’t forget the dirty clothes washing loads .
Peeling and cutting apples for cooking applesauce,
The pain tells me, scratch it from the list and toss.
Writing and typing numbers for my tax return,
Make my knuckles stiff, ache and burn.
I usually handle aches and pain pretty well,
Like writing this poem while my legs swell.
Pain pain just go away, Please don’t come back any day.
You win…Today.

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