Yesterday, in a therapy group, several people were talking about physical and emotional pain and wondering what they had done to deserve all that pain. I quoted the helpful phrase “PAIN IS NOT A PUNISHMENT” which led to an interesting discussion about the painful messages people got in their families of origin, the wish to make meaning of pain, self-blame, and self-forgiveness. Somebody in the group asked me to write “PAIN IS NOT A PUNISHMENT” on the board.
As I wrote that, I was very aware of the pain in my left shoulder, which has been getting worse since my fall last Wednesday. As the pain continued to increase into the night, I spoke to a doctor on call who suggested I go to the emergency room. People there listened to my description of the pain and somebody speculated that I may have torn my rotator cuff, which is often a pain for major league baseball pitchers. I don’t know any other group therapists who have injured their rotator cuffs, but that diagnosis might explain the pain.
As I’m writing this, I’m reminding myself that past pain, present pain, and future pain (which might include physical therapy) are NOT punishments.
I hope it’s okay when I share my pain here and also my latest photographs:
I also found out that taking extra-strength Tylenol over several days disrupted my INR, which is another pain.
I will know more about the shoulder pain when I see an Orthopedic Doctor, probably this afternoon. I hope the news is not too painful.
Here‘s music to remind us that PAIN IS NOT A PUNISHMENT.
As always, gratitude reduces the pain, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.