When pain makes me feel better

So when I’m in physical pain I tend to feel psychologically better. I’ve never really clarified this in my head until I read Joy Curtis’ post on the subject. It made so much sense.

I need to point out that the source of physical pain I’m talking about here is not chronic or the result of a terminal or life threatening illness.

I can be on the lowest of lows I mean really low, dangerously low – ward admittance low. A strange part of my lows is that I look fine – it is now in my medical notes that I’m high functioning but can be a danger to myself and don’t present in a way that psychiatric staff expect (see my other blog for anecdote about that). I’ve had support teams in my living room saying ‘well you look fine’.
Yes don’t I.

Then pain  –  illness. I take to my bed. I feel awful…… and start to realise that I have found some real compassion for myself, because my pain is ‘real’. In this moment I know I’m not well, I’m in pain, I need to look after myself.

When it was psychological I believed none of that and now when I own my physical pain I start to own the psychological too. And I feel better.
A lot better.
Tons better.
I mean I start actually feeling happy.
Very happy.

A comment from TV series: House – half remembered, but you get the gist.

Cessation of extreme pain can cause euphoria

Is that what is happening ? Maybe. Can phenomena from physiological pain be applied to psychological ?

Dunno but it’s kind of interesting.
Thanks Joy 

A not so good variant of that experience is self harm.
I have been there. There is definitely an element of this going on with my self harm. Owning and seeing my own pain, but it is so mixed in with guilt / shame and knowing that the very nature of the activity is not looking after myself.

I’ve no cures for psychological pain here – I do not advocate self harm – I do not advocate being in pain.
But I feel a bit clearer on a few things.

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