During time periods of high symptoms it is easy to get overrun with what I call, in my case, pain brain. During these days, weeks, or months, a dark haze settles over my perception of the world and myself. Because my body is suffering, my mind suffers too. It is important to remind yourself during these times, that the fog will lift and in a few days, weeks, or months, you will begin to see more clearly again. When simple tasks feel overwhelming, when you’re struggling with thoughts questioning your own worth, and your mind fills with questions about the future that your body cannot answer, this is a sign you’re experiencing your own pain brain.
When you’re living in the pain brain, it’s a good idea to try not to listen. Don’t make any decisions. Don’t take your thoughts seriously. Allow yourself time for extra self-care. And most of all recognize that your pain brain will be temporary.
Patient practice: reminisce about a good day you had in the relatively recent past. Use it as a reminder that while this moment feels endless, deep, and dark, it is temporary. Regardless of how it feels right now, there are brighter days in your future. Talk to a loved one, let them know you’re having pain brain and the thoughts you’re struggling with. Let them reframe your situation for you, putting it in a kinder light. Soak up their love, and if you can, go outside and soak up some sun.