Thursday, June 07, 2018

Pain Management

I have been in such excruciating physical pain for so many months, you'd think we'd be good friends by now. But apparently, this is one entity with which one cannot further friendship no matter how old the acquaintance.

Recently, I was reading this book which talked about dealing with pain by first giving it a name. Yes, like Bob. Or if you want to be desi, Rajendraprasad. Why Rajendraprasad you ask? Well, if it's got to have a name it might as well be something grandiose. Though it IS hard to have any degree of affection for a name like Rajendraprasad. Maybe if one affectionately shortened it to, say, Raju?

But why must pain have a masculine name at all? Men can be a big pain, 'nuf said. Okay, so Raju it is. When it's being extremely troublesome, one can use the full name, just like I use Raina and Rohan's full name when they are in trouble. So, the first step, naming it.

Next, the book recommends that one should talk to it. Like "Hey, Raju, what's up, dude? You may be a nice person at heart, but honestly, I am not in the right frame of mind to discern any good qualities you may have. Actually, for now, it would be much appreciated if you just went away. Shall we try that, huh? You are trying to teach me a lesson? An important life lesson, you say? But you should consider that I may not want to learn it. No, really. I know you want me to be disciplined and do my exercises, and you promise you will go away if I do, but we've tried that before. Sure, you go away for a bit, but a few hours later, you are back with a bang. What you do is give one false hope."

Apparently, I can curse at Raju. I can yell. I can be angry. It just seems silly though. It just makes me feel silly. So the end result is supposed to be that Raju and I learn to deal with each other, because we are kind of part of the same whole (you knew that, right?). We slowly become friends.

I tried, I really did. I worked with Raju. Only to be back to square one many months later. This isn't true friendship, this is toxic. But what else do I have? Pain can be such an isolating experience. People who love you pat your back, hold your hand, feel terrible for you. You understand they are trying to reach you to comfort you. And all that does is fill your eyes with tears of frustration and self-pity. Why me? my lips tremble. Why can't this just end? When will it?

Giving your pain a name is supposed to make you feel less alone. Here's this entity that is with you always. Might as well get to know it, work with it, to reach a better place. That way, you don't relinquish control to pain. You fight, but you don't surrender. You work together, a team. You are no longer helpless.

Theoretically. Practically, when you find yourself back at square one, you just want to give up. But that doesn't work because your body doesn't do what you want. It doesn't care what you want. So you dust yourself off and start over.

Here goes. "Hello, Raju."