Saturday, February 20, 2010
SECONDARY GAIN PAIN
I ordered two workbooks my yoyo inspector wants me to do work in. When the package came, I immediately opened the book to see if the order was right, but then took the box and deposited it in my bedroom, the infamous cave. Did I ever tell anyone what color my cave walls are painted? They're bohemian red (dark red). I have African masks on the walls and a few wooden African statues. Over my bed or at least one of my beds, the one in the "red room" (I have 3 places in the house I attempt sleep) I have a large framed Wizard of Oz poster.
Getting back to the point...my workbooks sat in the box until last night while I was watching Bill Maher's HBO show Real Time. I picked up the one titled The Courage to Heal Workbook For Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and held it in my hands for about 2 seconds before tossing it back in the box. Nope! I wasn't ready for that one yet!
The other seemed less intimidating: Pain Recovery How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain A Comprehensive Opioid-Free Approach. How's that for a title?
I opened the book and started reading. Almost immediately, there was a large caution written? Basically, it said cold turkey isn't the way to kick a habit. I wrote an "OOPS!!" in the margin. I guess that's not a good way to start a new program by doing things the Mildred Ratched method (like that way has worked so well for me in the past).
I got through the first exercise okay. I had to identify my causes of chronic pain from a rather long list. I checked off what applied to me. The next exercise, I read and went blank. I really didn't know what to write. I read it again and still drew a blank, so I went on to the next exercise. This little jewel was titled: Secondary Gain: A Hidden Barrier to Recovery. I felt like someone had slapped me in the face. I instantly felt so embarrassed and ashamed that I wanted to runaway or at least never come out of my cave again. I can't do this! I can't make myself feel worse while I'm already teetering on the edge. My very thin lifeline has been being able to express how I feel and now I feel I shouldn't do that because it's a secondary gain. WTF!!! Retreat! Stay silent! Don't ask, don't tell!
To quote the book: Secondary gain refers to any perceived benefit you receive from having pain. If not indentified, secondary gain gives you unconscious reasons for holding onto your pain. This does not mean you are pretending to hurt for the benefits you get, just that the perceived benefits make pain rewarding in some ways and thus more complicated to treat. (pain junkie aka glutton for punishmnet)
My next blog entry will deal with the list of perceived payoffs I get for being in pain. I need awhile to warp my short-circuited brain around this so I can start to move past it. This isn't something I want to do because just the thought of secondary gain is causing me pain, stress, embarrassment and shame, but since I'm a glutton for punishment I'll do it and I'll do it with honesty and conviction.
Gratitude statement: Although recovering is a difficult and lifelong process, taking the first step is the hardest. I'm thankful for having the courage and good sense to take that first step.