We have a natural instinct to touch and be touched. It is part of who we are, how we communicate and how we express love and togetherness.
Our bodies are hardwired to cope with pain. When chronic pain becomes your “new normal.” Your body changes. Being touched for me was excruciating. Everything was excruciating but being touched became a whole new level of hurt for me as I struggled with muscle pain, joint pain, and neurological pain. Touch is really hard when you have chronic pain. I’ve been in remission for 3 years now and I’m still trying to teach myself that it is ok to move, and touch, and be touched. I was so programmed by my body not to touch or move.
This image represents to me the dysfunction of “touching equaling pain.” In the children’s book “Little Bite, Big Trouble” it depicts the dysfunction that eventually comes with chronic pain. I’m still trying to relearn the “art of touch.” It doesn’t come naturally. I have to work at it daily. I have to consciously give myself permission to hug or touch or bend. Pain has created so much confusion within my body, and then ultimately my life.
For those of you who live with chronic pain. How do you deal with this aspect of touching? How has it changed your relationships? Do the people around you understand this?