It is human nature to keep digging when we find ourselves in a hole, believing that somehow we can tunnel through to the other side despite the obvious fact that we are just making a deeper hole.
Chronic pain is a bottomless pit that can consume every minute of our lives with fear. We keep digging and flailing about, dropping in exhaustion only to start digging again when the sun comes up. By nightfall, we are bloody and scarred and no closer to the top.
Let’s think about this scenario in a different way. First, you just need to stop digging. That is a simple statement applied to a complex problem and I don’t intend to minimize the difficulty of stopping. We dig from fear; fear of being there forever; fear of waking up in that hole another day; fear that if we stop digging, pain will paralyze us. Of course we tremble with fear. Stopping gives your brain what it needs to problem solve, to enter a state of calmness, rationality and strength.
There are the occasional people who peek over and try to help by shouting out some not-so- helpful advice. Some see the hole, hear our cries and run away. But one ordinary day, a stranger calls your name and you look up to see a rope lowered down. Part of you doesn’t trust this stranger, doesn’t trust your own strength to pull yourself up. You are afraid to even try…what if I can’t, what if I’m not strong enough, what if the stranger let’s go of the rope?
However, as you pull yourself up, you see that many people are standing behind the stranger pulling the rope and bringing you to safety. Pain University is your rope. It allows you to stop and recognize that you have the inner strength to climb out. We will be cheering you on every inch that you get closer to the top. You just need to grab that rope!