“I’m a single mum and I suffer chronic pain and spinal problems…”

 Hello there,I’ve just read an article about your organisation and wondered if you could help me. I’m a single mum and I suffer chronic pain and spinal problems and things are hard. The pains debilitating and I’m very lonely. Is there any service you can offer me, put me in touch with likewise people with disabilities. I’m not sure if this is something you offer.
Kindest regards, Rachael

 

 Hi Rachael, many thanks for writing in to us at the Love Lounge.
Sorry to hear of your struggles, but great that you’ve written in to us, and you’re wanting things to change.
Pain is such a tough thing to deal with, and for us to give advice on, as it really does differ for everyone! If it’s really debilitating and affecting your life so severely, I’d suggest having a chat with your doctor to see if anything else can be done. In terms of getting yourself out there and kicking that loneliness into touch, what really works for several people I know is planning ahead – having dates in the diary to look forward to, and being able to factor in ‘rest days’ or even ‘rest hours’ into your day so that these dates in the diary (hopefully) end up being events you can attend and enjoy without too much pain or worry.  When there isn’t anything huge to look forward to, could your friends come to you instead of meeting you for coffee in town, just so you can socialise and still be in control if pain really strikes?
It’d be great to know more about you – do you use any mobility equipment to get around, and can certain friends or family members be at hand to accompany you on a girly shopping afternoon, or take single mum pressures off you when you need some ‘me’ time, even if that’s relaxing in front of the TV?!
In terms of dating, I’d recommend boosting your confidence a little by taking some lovely photos of yourself, writing up a positive profile about what you enjoy, and trying online dating.  It’ll get conversations going, you can do it from the comfort of your own home and, you never know, these online conversations might turn into dates for your diary! 🙂
If they do, please let me know! There’s lots of equipment out there that can also help with chronic pain in the bedroom….
Wishing you lots of luck,
Emily x

 

Hi Rachel,
I know how you feel, as I experience high levels of pain. It is something that can get in the way of every part of life, especially intimacy. It’s tough to feel sexy when just being touched hurts. However, I must say that sex is also a fantastic method of pain relief, so don’t think that being in pain will stop you from being intimate with someone. I have found that sex alleviates pain, and this can last for some time. Not always but some times.
On the dating front, I must admit I’m way out of touch with dating in today’s world. I’ve been married for ten years, to the woman I’ve been with for twenty. But I have always lived with pain, ever since my spine collapsed and so know how it can make you feel you might not be the catch of the year. Don’t let that thought colour the way you act. The right person will be supportive, but I found along the way to finding the right person that even a few wrong ones are understanding around pain. They might have been wrong for other reasons but most people seem to understand that pain might make you feel off now and then.
The whole online dating scene is alien to me, but if you fancy trying old school dating try finding activities you enjoy. Then when you are doing them socialise and et voila, you may find Mr Right. I met my wife like this, and it allowed us to stay together as we have so much in common. Emily’s advice around building schedules that allow you to recover is vital. It’s how I have built a successful life. I work, or party or whatever, and then I book some time off to recover. I’m writing this from my sofa, after returning from a holiday. I even book time off to recover from holidays! This is the best technique for beginning to get out now and then. Arrange something that you really fancy doing, do it, and then give yourself the time to recover… and never knock yourself for needing this time. Your health is vital and you should never feel bad for needing recovery time. As you go out more, your confidence will grow. Sure they’ll be knock backs, times when the pain wins out, but you will be in control, not the pain.
Another technique I tried which changed my life was mindfulness. This meditation technique sounded far to hippy dippy for me, but as you know sometimes pain can get so bad you’d try anything. It set me free! Ask your GP to see if they run Mindfulness for pain in your area. It allows you to develop a different relationship with your pain and when it gets bad you can use it to lessen it’s impact. Can’t sing it’s praises too highly. Mik.

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