Pain is the Teacher

This morning I was thinking about pain and how it makes you grow as a person. How it makes you resilient. Because pain, both physical and emotional, is a great teacher. It shows that you can endure, get through, and survive.

Today, I am thinking about physical pain. In the past 10 years, I have had 3 surgeries and a broken shoulder. I had my gallbladder taken out on an emergency basis after suffering several years of undiagnosed back pain. I broke my shoulder and it went undiagnosed for several months; PT for it was brutal. I had gastric bypass — that involved both physical and psychic pain. Now, I am recovering from a tummy tuck and a breast lift.

What will all this teach me? What will your pain teach you?

I think one of the biggest things I have learned (especially with the bariatric surgery) is that you can fix yourself physically, but it really brings your emotional and mental baggage to the forefront.  Changing your body doesn’t change your emotional or psychological make up.  You still have to deal with all the things that made you overweight in the first place. 2 years after my gastric bypass, I think that I still work on my emotional life very hard. I still struggle to overcome self-esteem issues.  I still have the desire to eat large amounts, even though I have gotten used to not eating that way. I struggle with the boredom that cooking and eating and dining out used to cure. I work daily on coping skills and activities that keep the boredom demon at bay.

Today, I am learning that this process may never end.  Pain will always be my teacher. I will always be learning the lessons.

Coping Skills

These are the coping skills that I have from the bariatric surgery:
Do Art.
Exercise (esp walking and taking exercise classes)
Leave the house! Go do something!
Call a friend!
Read.
Knit.

In the early days and months after my bariatric surgery, the “leave the house” coping skill was fundamental and important to me. I frequently went to exercise classes — combining two coping skills.

I’m thinking about adding more. Because some of my coping skills are becoming less interesting to me (like the knitting, though I am still knitting — just not as much)

Everyone has coping skills, regardless of whatever your life is presenting to you (maybe your life is going great! smile emoticon ) …what do you like to do?