The Pain Flower

Yesterday’s post was about the purpose of pain. Today I want to examine emotional pain in more detail. I have had many battles with this. When I was younger, I did not want to exist, the pain was so bad. However, I do not feel that now.

Psychological pain, mental pain, or emotional pain is an unpleasant feeling of a psychological, non-physical origin. A pioneer in the field of suicidology, Edwin S. Shneidman, described it as “how much you hurt as a human being. It is mental suffering; mental torment.” Wikipedia

So what on earth do we do with this? I write this aware of many facing psychological pain at the moment; through bereavement, from loved ones having taken their lives, through abuse. Thre list goes on and on.

My personal battles have been many. And my Christian faith has helped me enormously. I pray and read the bible and speak to Christian friends. But those reading this may not have a faith, so what practical ways are there to deal with severe battles of psychological distress. I am going to list practical help tools.

  1. Speak to a GP. If you feel you cannot go on, you are not alone. The doctor can help and it may be that medication is needed.
  2. Be kind to yourself. I often battle with guilt, however mental anguish is a terrible affliction in itself, without being hard on yourself
  3. If you are hurting yourself to cope, then once again please speak to your GP. There are excellent help lines; Samaritans, CALM (Campaign against living miserably), Mental Health Matters, Mind
  4. Speak to a friend that you trust. If you feel judged by them, find someone else. It is important to have support from kind people, not critics
  5. Be grateful. I find being grateful for the tiny things such as bird song helps me when I am in pain
  6. Rest. If you need to go to bed, that’s fine. That is often what I do when life is very difficult
  7. Eat regularly and drink water if you can’t face food
  8. Try not to turn to alcohol as it is a depressant. If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs there is a lot of support out there (AA, narcotics anonymous)
  9. Walking regularly or other exercise really helps. it is hard to motivate yourself, so it may be good to do this with a friend
  10. Watch comedy if you can face it.
  11. Reading can really help as a distraction
  12. Writing is a real help too

I called this post The Pain Flower because for me pain is a positive in that it grows in our lives and we can choose to pick the flower ie embrace and use pain, or view it as a negative and a horrible thing. Having battled pain most of my life, I view it as a flower that has taught me lessons, albeit very hard ones.

Today’s recipe of hope is to consider pain and think about your view of it. If you are battling severe pain, I hope you are getting support at this time. I would really welcome your comments and thoughts on this subject.

I wish you all strength in whatever pain you may be facing X

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