"Go Away" & Other Things Pain Makes Us Say

No position you turn or lay on seems to make a difference. And the awkward angle at which your legs are parted in that spica cast is just.. awkward and uncomfortable. There is an itch deep down in your cast that you can't get to no matter how you bend the coat hanger; and for the millionth time NO, ANOTHER PILLOW WON'T HELP! JUST. GO. AWAY!

I am sure all of us have experienced a discomfort that was indescribable. We then begin to tunnel ourselves further into a hole because we think: no one else understands, no one else has felt this, no one else knows how to make it stop, no one wants to be around this kind of pain, no one no one no one..Until all of a sudden we are sitting by ourselves in bed, grumpy and at a loss for what to do.

This is the part where I am afraid to make another confession. But here goes: Sometimes being by myself with the pain helps me feel better. A lot better. No it's not because I am anti-social and a miserable person, I promise!

I could easily attribute this to my stubborn personality. When things get tough I have a tendency to just curl inwards and deal with problems on my own. The more other people nit-pick, nag, remind, or suggest things for me in times of high stress and pain -- the quicker I am to lash out and intentionally isolate myself. This isn't a good thing necessarily, but it is the way that I cope. It's how I manage and it's how I get back to making myself feel better.
Over the years I have tried to become more mindful of that behavior. When things are beginning to make me "hermit-ize" I take a moment to ask myself: Is this a step to making me feel better? Or am I isolating myself because I just don't want to deal with anyone else?

If it's the first reason then fine. I let people know that "It'll make me feel better to be by myself for a little while.." or I say "I'd like to get some rest alone please.." If it's the second reason I try to accept that feeling negative in times of stress and pain are natural. I tell myself there is nothing wrong with me because I want to burrow inside a hole of blankets and sheets (and possibly never come out). I then try to remind myself that this other person is most likely trying to help, and while s/he might not understand what I'm going through - I should acknowledge and appreciate their efforts in getting me through a tough time. I then assure them that thanks to their help I will be okay by myself for a bit. It's not easy to calmly think through your pain when you're in the moment, but even taking that first step of realizing your feelings when you're in that state of being will do wonders.

I suppose the point of this blog entry is to realize that everyone has their own way of coping. No way is right or wrong, but it is important that we realize everyone responds differently. For one person putting five pillows underneath a full leg cast feels like they are on top of cloud 999; for someone else it might feel like the most traumatizing sensation ever!
At the end of the day we can only be us. We can only do whatever will make us feel better, we can only hope that what we do now will make the next minutes easier for all of us.

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