(Workbook Page 46)
In reality, people with pain are the only ones who can truly help themselves. They are the only ones who know what they feel. They are the only ones who can determine which treatments work. For pain care to be effective, it must be self-directed and self-regulated, with a team of professionals and non-professionals. Positive outcome is measured by improved pain control, improved function and improved quality of life. Ultimately, the person with pain has to become the leader of their treatment team. They assess the situation, determine needs, set goals, find help and pursue appropriate strategies. They must reach out and connect with friends and family, reject self-isolation and fear-based limitations, reconnect to the pleasurable aspects of life and re-establish the rhythm and harmony of social existence.
Thoughts become beliefs and beliefs becomes reality. The brain perceives thoughts and mingles them with sensory experience, memories and emotions. This becomes reality. We can harness beliefs and redirect efforts and energy to change situations. Remembering always that the brain and body are one thing and that each has a profound effect upon the other, we can begin to imagine the possibility that things can change. As change occurs the beliefs about being able to overcome pain are reinforced. We begin to understand the endless potential and power within. People accomplish things that are thought to be impossible. There are countless numbers of inspirational stories about people who defied the odds, overcame their impairments and triumphed over what were thought to be insurmountable obstacles.
People with pain are told every day that there is nothing more that can be done for them. Living with persistent pain often requires an heroic attitude, unimaginable to those who have not experienced it. People who have pain must refuse to accept their current fate and be willing to harness their own power to begin the process of change that will overcome their pain and suffering. This will require not only belief, but determination, persistence, courage and endurance. There will be times when the validity of the effort will come into question. Setbacks will occur. It is important to understand during these times that the route to success is one of taking small steps every day and of changing in small increments. Relentless pursuit of pain relief, while surrounded by an assembled team of helping professionals and loved ones, remaining fully involved a vibrant life, will help push through these difficult times.