Monday, 16 January 2012


I had decided not to book the Dara O'Briain tickets because I felt it would be too hard if I had a bad pain day and couldn't go. I was partly worried about wasting the money, but mostly it was the fear of disappointment that stopped me.

I changed my mind though.

Fear of pain is as debilitating as pain itself; when you suffer from long-term pain, very often you wind up not doing things because you're scared it will trigger an attack, not because you're actually in pain at the time. It's a reasonable fear - that activity has triggered the pain many times before, and there's every possibility it will do again - but as the meditation taught me, you have to focus on now, not on what happened in the past.

So I decided to dump the fear of disappointment, and focus on the here and now instead. But I also think there's a benefit to looking at the future, though that's not what the meditation teaches. I think I need incentives, actual examples of things to remind me what it is I'm fighting for.

It's too vague to just be thinking about getting your life back. It's too narrow to only focus on getting back to work. And it's not enough to just keep adding to a list of things to do post-pain. I believe you need actual real-life things that *are* 'normal', there, right in front of you, driving you on. I think that's more valuable and more useful than all the 'practise sitting at a desk' sessions in the world.

One of those real-life things is the online dating. I've been on the site off and on for a couple of years, but it's been really disappointing. (Nothing to do with the pain - people just don't bother replying). But I'm currently emailing a really nice guy, and I'm enjoying the 'normality' of doing that. And there's the added implied incentive, the possibility of going out and doing 'normal' things with a 'normal' guy (this one or another!).

One of those 'normal things' might be going to a show, but I don't have to wait to do that with someone - I long ago gave up going to things only if I had company. So I decided to book the ticket to see Dara - now I have something concrete and tangible to work towards.

The show is the beginning of March, and I'm trying to return to work at the beginning of April; it'll be a good indicator of progress. If going back to work is a real possibility, then making it to that show should be reasonable. And if it's not, well the ticket was half the price I was expecting, so it's not too much to lose, financially. But let's not think about that. Let's think about me getting to a theatre for the first time in five years. Let's think about that instead.

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