Saturday, March 18, 2017

Making Pain Work For You ... continued....

Making Pain Work For You ... continued....

I wrote this series of tips some years ago after I'd broken my elbow. The pain, inconvenience and lengthy recovery process (that taught me such a lot) reminded of the step-journey.

Tip 5: SEEK THE HELP YOU NEED

Thankfully, just around the corner of the supermarket where I fell was a Medical Centre. As soon as I was able to be moved I was taken to it and, although between my arrival and my pain relief there were many questions asked, an oxygen mask forced on me, X-rays taken, more questions asked…….ultimately my pain was relieved.


Some step-situations can be too painful to deal with on your own. If you are in one of those do yourself a favour and seek professional assistance. Be assured that there is no shame in seeking help. It doesn’t mean that you are incompetent, weak or crazy. With many more professionals having greater awareness these days of issues that are commonly experienced by stepfamilies seeking help merely means that you are wise enough not to struggle on your own when it isn’t necessary. Like me, you may have to undergo some painful prodding and it may take some time before your pain is relieved, but a step-relationship savvy counsellor will assist you to get there.

Tip 6: DO WHAT IT TAKES

For me there was no choice. Because my elbow was broken in a complicated fashion it had to be pinned and wired back into place, which meant an ambulance ride to hospital, 8 hours of waiting in the emergency ward and finally, surgery.

Some step-situations can be resolved easily, others may be helped through support, yet others require more expert help and then there are those that need to undergo surgery. As you are no doubt aware, surgery always comes with a risk. That’s why you have to sign numerous bits of paper so that if something did go wrong you cannot blame the surgeon, anaesthetist or hospital. But if there is no other way for you to get better, you will need surgery despite all the risks. If your marriage (partnership) requires surgery, go for it! Get the best surgeon you know, trust that the outcome is going to be right for you…and get it over and done with. Putting it off because you’re scared of what might happen, because you fear even greater pain, because you are so used to living in pain that you cannot imagine a different way of being, is not going to solve anything, it just prolongs the agony!

Tip 7: REMEMBER THAT HEALING TAKES TIME

I was told that I’ll have my plaster cast on for numerous weeks and that I’ll be quite incapacitated for a long time afterwards. This, of course, was terribly inconvenient. I couldn't drive. Showering was a difficult process. Getting dressed was a challenge. Everything that used to be easy was now really difficult. Oh darn!!

If your relationship requires more than just casual help it may take some time to heal. During this time you probably won’t feel too great. When things that used to work for you don’t work any more you might no longer feel like yourself. This can be frustrating, even scary. You may feel helpless, impatient and might be wondering: Why did this happen to ME? Rather than driving yourself crazy with questions that don’t have an easy answer, remember that all this will pass in time. In the meantime the best you can do is just go with the flow.

Tip 8: ACCEPT THAT HEALING TAKES HARD WORK

I was also told that I’ll have to have extensive physiotherapy in order to get my arm to function normally again. This turned out to be time-consuming, costly, inconvenient and not least of all, really  painful.

For you (or your step-situation) to heal it will also require hard work. You may need to do things or to put up with things that are time-consuming, costly and painful. You’ll probably encounter times when it will all seem too hard or too painful and you’ll want to give up. Don’t despair, all of that is part of the process! Going through the healing process is rarely fun, but the ultimate outcome will be worth it. 

Everything article on this blog has been written BY SONJA RIDDEN. Sonja is a therapist, relationship coach, author, trainer and popular speaker. She was the founder of The Step Stop - your first step to stepfamily information, education and support and the author of ‘Hell…p! I’m a stepmother’.

Please feel free to share these articles with your friends but remember to include SR's authorship and a link to this blog. 


If you feeel that you are benefitting from the articles on this blog you may also be interested in the Stepmom Summit Interview Package, which features over a dozen coaches, counsellors, authors, speakers and fellow stepmums - including my good self - that reveals successful ways to deal with many of the challenges you are pretty sure to encounter along your stepmom journey. To learn more about this package, click here. 

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