Saturday, 3 September 2016

Keeping focus on life - coping with pain

The tax return finally came through belatedly from the tax office (hooray!) after I officially complained. The complaints people at the ATO are absolutely excellent. I had the money in only 4 days after first ringing them to lodge the complaint. They said it was because of me being bankrupt that it took so long as it was "escalated", and next year to ring complaints much earlier to hurry it along.

So we went and had a few drinks at the pub yesterday afternoon. What an amazing feeling to sit in a pub and not have to worry and count every dollar spent.

I did have a bit of difficulty however. Have been having problems with back pain again, very bad for me as when it starts hurting much more than usual I get anxiety about it which can lead to panic attacks. Lovely :s So I'm sitting in the bar chair and my back starts hurting more and more, over about an hour or so it got to a very intense pain all over it. Ugh. David noticed my catatonic state and the tears in my eyes from it, asked me if I was tired, I mumbled some sort of yes thing...

Thing is though I know from experience and the counseling I got when looking after my late wife over her years of illness. It's not a matter of just snapping out of it so to speak, but a matter of choice. 

I could continue to sit there focused on how much my back was hurting, in so drawing David's attention to my state, and thereby making the whole outing about me and my pain.

Or I could focus as directed by the counselor years before, on the time out with David and enjoying myself (and ourselves) in a well deserved break from the monotony of poverty and illness. Thereby making the outing about both of us, our surroundings, and all the pleasantness that such things attract.

A strange thing happened. My back pain subsided, I think due to simply me focusing differently. We had the most pleasant time extending into the evening. What could have been depressing and miserable became uplifting and enjoyable, simply by changing my focus :)