Compassion.

I like to believe I’m a compassionate person, well actually I’m told fairly frequently that I am. I was told as recently as today, by someone who I love a great deal, who I respect and deeply value her opinion and the advice, help and support she gives me. I truly don’t think I would be here today without her, she has talked me round off the edge a number of times and without her I don’t know where I would be. Don’t get me wrong I’ve put in a lot of work to get here, but if I didn’t have her support I don’t think I would have ever been at this stage in my life where I feel pretty okay despite pain.

Yes I’m a compassionate person, I care deeply about other people whether they be family, friends, people I’ve only just met, or people that read my blog. I’ve only spoken to a few of you but if you read my blog then you must have found it for a reason, you must have been searching for something most likely headache related, as that’s what my blog is about. But if you’ve been searching that means you’re looking for help, possibly guidance and most probably to help you feel a little less crazy (you’re not by the way!) and less alone. I hope reading my words help on some level, because that’s an aim. This blog isn’t purely for my own benefit but for yours too. I care deeply about helping people, and it’s what I want to do with my life eventually. I care a heck of a lot about people struggling with anything no matter how big or small it may be.

The problem is, I’m not very compassionate to myself, like at all. I’m just not very nice to myself, I say things to myself I wouldn’t even dream to say to someone else, so why do I tell myself these things, say these not very nice things to myself? What does it achieve? Well the answer is anxiety, anger, disappointment in myself, all negative emotions that aren’t good for my journey with acceptance.

The lovely woman who told me yet again today that I’m very compassionate has also often told me that I’m not very nice to myself and compassionate towards myself. My psychologist has noticed it as well and says I need to develop my inner compassionate mind. When I last saw her she sent me some recordings that will help me develop it more and be maybe just a little nicer to myself. So self-compassion is something I am working on.

I feel like this is probably a problem for a lot of people in chronic pain, are you self-compassionate? Or are you like me who tells myself things like I’m rubbish, no good at anything, can’t achieve anything, that I’m stupid, that I’m unworthy, that I deserve pain when in fact I’m not any those things at all. I am good at things, I can achieve things, I’m not stupid and I don’t deserve pain; however that is what I’ve got and I’m learning to accept that. I have high expectations of myself and am a bit of a perfectionist, nothing I ever do is good enough for my standards and it’s a bit of a problem. Even if I achieve something there is always a voice in the back of my head that I should have done better than I did and that voice needs to go.

I know I need to be more self-compassionate but I’ve recognised that I need to improve on this area of my life so now I can begin to take control over it.

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2 thoughts on “Compassion.

  1. Hello
    I’m sending this to you privately, and posting as a comment on your website, as I really don’t want you to miss it.

    I read your blog months ago, when I was a few months in to having NDPH and facial pain. My headache started on the 28th July 2013. I tried a huge number of different pain drugs, epilepsy drugs, nerve blocks, herbal remedies, osteopathy, trigger point massage, hypnotism, reiki, crystal healing and my friend even dragged me along to a shaman! (Yep, I was desperate at that point!).

    I also have tinnitus along with the pain, and found some people on a tinnitus forum (Tinnitus Talk) taking a fairly new epilepsy drug – Retigabine which works differently to all the others I’d tried, a couple were totally cured after a few months, and were able to stop the drug. I figured that as my tinnitus started at the same time they must be related. So I searched more online and found some research that showed it helped with neuropathic pain in rats.

    I went back to my neurologist, Dr Mark Weatherall in London, and asked him about it. He had prescribed it to a couple of epilepsy patients but never for pain. After he researched it himself he prescribed it to me. I’ve been taking it for 6 weeks now, still tapering up and each time I taper up 50mg the pain level drops even more. I’m getting hours some days now of virtually no pain at all (that never happened before) and the rest of the time the level is much less than before.

    I’m also taking 50mg of Dosulepin (an antidepressant) with it, which I’ve been on since the middle of last year. Dosulepin only knocked the pain level down a notch or two, nothing as major as the relief I’m getting from Retigabine.

    If you want to try another drug I really can’t recommend this enough. I hope it will work for others too. I’m writing to all the websites I visited when I was pretty much bedridden in agony, as I want something good to come out of that year and a half of extreme pain.
    This probably sounds like some kind of drug or doctor advert but it isn’t I promise you. I see Dr Weatherall free on the NHS. The neurologist I saw before him shouted at me for researching, I know he would never have listened and prescribed this to me!

    Not sure what country you’re in, but in the US it’s called Potiga/Ezogabine.

    P.s. If you need to show your doctor some print outs of research evidence, here’s some links:

    http://www.molecularpain.com/content/10/1/15

    https://www.ucl.ac.uk/npp/research/dab/npp/dab/Lang.PM_et_al_2008sdarticle.pdf

    http://www.molecularpain.com/content/6/1/49

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12559370

    http://www.jneurosci.org/content/23/18/7227.full.pdf

    • Hi Kelly, I’ve just read your email and this comment. Thanks for getting in touch and posting it.
      I’ve made a very personal decision to no longer try medication therapies, however I know some of my readers may benefit from this information so thank you for commenting as well as emailing me so they can see this too.
      I’m really glad you have found something to help your pain.
      I am also in the UK and see a neurologist in London, though not Dr Weatherall, but I have heard of him, my neuro is at NHNN.
      Will email you back as well.
      Hope you continue to see improvement with this medication!x

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