Is physical pain better or worse than emotional pain?
More like, is CHRONIC physical pain worse than emotional pain?
The answer? Neither is better or worse than the other. Emotional pain, while it begins mentally, it can absolutely cause physical pain too. Chronic pain? It starts in episodes, then it just kinda settles in, unpacks it’s bags and puts it’s feet up as you learn to deal with more and more pain. Emotional pain, does the same thing. Except, with emotional pain, you can get rid of some of the baggage gradually without having someone having to cut you up physically. Yet, I guess with emotional pain, some of us self harm so we are cutting ourselves up….. hmmm..
Well, I guess both types of pain are a lot more similar than we think. On the surface they seem to be different, but if you really think about it, they break down to be so very similar. Both types of pain change a person. Is that good or bad? Well, I guess that depends how each is treated. Some emotional issues can be so deep and rooted so far inside of us that it can be pretty painful to acknowledge and deal with. Chronic pain can require a lot of more physically invasive ways that may leave our bodies in a lot of physical pain.
Why am I writing about pain when its Mental Health Awareness Month?
Because chronic pain can lead to a lot of emotional issues as well. There comes a lot of depression, a lot of anxiety, and a lot of medications.
I’m about to have another procedure done on my back. These last few years, since I first hurt my back, have been coupled with not just depression from my bipolar disorder, but depression because I physically can’t do a lot of the things I used to do. Being someone who has a history of eating disorders, weight gain and physical changes with your body can be extremely hard to deal with. I was doing really well accepting the chronic pain because my weight had been pretty well maintained. Recently, my weight has changed significantly, which only adds to the depression the pain causes. So, I decided to have another procedure done where they burn the nerve endings off. They say its outpatient and it will bring relief of all the residual pain. But, they said that when I had my surgery last year. That after the procedure, a few weeks of recovery and I would be back to normal. I have been sooooo far from normal since then. Which brings me to today.
I thought that the procedure was a great idea. It would get rid of the pain, I would go there in the morning and be out by the afternoon. Then I began to remember what they told me last time. Is my desire to get rid of the physical pain because I believe that the physical pain is what is preventing me from becoming mentally well again a good idea, or is it going to result in more restrictions on activity and make my depression worse?
I’m not afraid to say that I’m scared to death. Everyone says, don’t worry, it’s going to be fine. But, that’s what they said last time and it wasn’t. Chronic pain has changed my life in so many ways, including really bad social anxiety because I have been isolating for so long.
I’m scared to death because I don’t want to go through it alone. I’ve put so much of the burden on my family already and don’t want to make it worse. This procedure is supposed to make things better, but there is always (as with any procedure) a chance it won’t work. Then what? People say, “Could things get any worse?” YES, yes they can. I know i’m rambling. I do that when I’m nervous. Everyone said to just write it out and it will make you feel better. That I needed to start writing something, anything, and it would help me start writing again.
So, here I am. Babbling and rambling. I’m scared. I don’t want to have it done anymore. I don’t want to go alone. I don’t want to go because if it makes things worse, then what happens? When will I be able to go back to the life I’m starting here? or, will I ever be able to go back? Yes, I may be overanalyzing everything. Its what I do. I’m just scared. I’m trying so hard to get back on track, and I’m finally starting to get there, is this a huge mistake and will it just set me back? AGAIN? I’m not strong enough anymore to handle any more setbacks. People say that they think I’m strong. I always wonder why the hell they say that because I’m not. I’m just as scared as most people on a daily basis. I have the same weaknesses and fears. I sit and pray that maybe this procedure will take away the constant muscle spasms, 24/7 leg charliehorse, get me off the stupid percocet because I’m so tired of taking it. I hope that the physical pain will go away and then the emotional pain will soon subside. I hope and pray, but I’m still scared. I’m tired of doctors, medications, medicare, co pays, doctor hunts, ER visits….. I’m just tired.
So which is worse, physical pain or emotional pain? NEITHER. They both are just as bad as the other. They both are related to each other. They both change people, just as much as they break people.