There was a Facebook exchange yesterday and I wondered “ So, what word is the opposite to ‘pain’?” We have opposing words for our emotional states, sadness and happiness. If we take away the emotion maybe those states can be framed simly as upset or balanced. What about pain?
Pain is a word we use all the time in healthcare. It’s the number one reason people consult with a Physiotherapist.
After I had a sleep, I posted this :
“I did sleep on this and woke with my usual ‘aware I have a body’ feelings. These are such a natural accompaniment to my every day from about age 10, that I don’t fret. I’ve had times when body feelings have been so indescribably toxic, in other words what people call severe pain, that I’ve had to cancel everything because I can only crawl around the house or roll out of bed and pull myself up, grit my teeth & force myself to walk. I’ve laughed at ‘it’ cried with ‘it’, told my system and me how silly it is. But it’s just me.
As this is my lived experience it always comes as a surprise that there are people who have what sounds to be described as ‘no body feelings’.
I’ve worked with some who seem to have a line somewhere below the neck and below this they ‘don’t feel’. One the other week marked a line in space with her hand. I’ve seen this before. I wonder if feeling our body is just a form of system training and that those folks who report no pain haven’t developed this system. I’m not sure I would frame this as ‘sensitivity’, maybe it’s like an artist’s eye or a musician’s ear.
However, until I’ve been thinking about it all I’ve never labelled myself a person with persistent / chronic pain, even though I have body feelings every day, perhaps because, like my dyslexia, I just work around it.
“I’m a very connected to nature, movement, body, touch, smell, taste, look, creative, passionate to learn. Academic learning interests me, but hard stats, crunching numbers, just being ‘in my head’ literally gives me a metallic taste in my mouth. Hence why I Picture Blog, the whole world is in colour & synaesthesia. Having a body, a soma, is brilliant cos of the things I can do with it.
I can train my ability to ‘feel’ different textures, ‘hear’ different rhythms, sounds of birds, ‘see’ colours, views. If alongside this comes an increasing ability to have body feelings, then that’s OK. Most of them I can’t even put a name to, there is a texture, colour, movement, speed, rhythm.
There are one or two I might call an ‘OW’, like knocking my elbow, or an ‘Ouch’.
I don’t use the word ‘hurt’. Isn’t this odd… “