One of the skills I have been working on has been to relax into those moments when my body least feels like relaxing. This is an extremely difficult skill to master, but at the same time it is a skill which chronic pain sufferers need to master if they are to rest or sleep.
I have been taught many different ways of doing this, none of them work every time but my toolbox now contains methods such as; transcendental meditation, Emotional Freedom Technique, distraction, progressive muscle relaxation and breath control. Using a combination of these has helped me through some difficult times.
I would urge any other chronic pain sufferer to learn how to relax. I suspect that most readers will not truly understand this, but fellow sufferers will understand and hopefully be able to follow my advice.
The following poem aims to describe the conflict between pain and the ability to relax.
The silence is deafening,
Silently the clock ticks,
The TV and radio lie mute
even the keys on the laptop
Time just slips by.
Each exhaled breath
re-enters the world
at its own silent pace
as it slips through taught lips
in a measured, controlled stream.
The pages on his lap don’t turn.
It is as if time itself has stopped.
Yet in his mind a fire burns
The primal scream lodged in his throat
remains unissued, caught as if
it were that of a terrified young child
with a monster under its bed.
The constant cycle of the eyelids
As they contract and relax
betrays the singular effort
of a mind fighting for control,
relax, relax and again.
John Carré Buchanan
23 August 2012