“Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.” -Bear Grylls
Everyone has some form of fear. If you say you do not, you are lying to yourself. Whether it is of heights or paying the bills on time, these fears can often times cripple us and keep us from living life to the fullest.
As a chronic pain warrior, fear is one of the biggest contributors to your pain, Am I saying it is all in your head?
BY NO MEANS!
What I am saying is that because your body feels that it is under attack 24/7, your brain begins putting defenses up. I will give you an example.
During my time with CRPS, I had gone on a beach vacation with my family. Well, I laid out in the sun too long and got a nasty sun burn. My pain flared so bad I could barely move for the rest of the time we were there. After that ordeal, whenever sunlight or heat touched my skin, the pain would surge.
Another example, and a more poignant one, is a soldier coming home from war. The smallest thing, like someone accidentally dropping a glass and it shattering across the floor, can send them into a panic because their brain believes them to be under attack.
Under normal circumstances, this not a bad thing. If our brain does not put us on alert when we are really under attack or in a dire situation, we would be in a whole heap of trouble. However, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing is bad.
As a chronic pain warrior, you are just like that soldier, feeling as though the tiniest of things will surge your pain to extremely high levels, not allowing you to function and live life as best as you can.
Fear can be crippling, but only if you allow it to be.
There are two really cool things I found that really helped on my perspective of fear, and I hope they help you as well.
One is this:
Just like when I got that sunburn, my brain believed that sunlight was a threat and caused my pain to surge when heat touched it.
How incredible is that?
So, how do we tell our brain that all is well? There are many techniques out there that can help you develop this ability and get you back in the saddle.
I leave you with one final thing to think about.
Fear has two different meanings:
Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise