“The fellowship of those who bear the mark of pain. Who are the members of this Fellowship? Those who have learned by experience what physical pain and bodily anguish mean, belong together all the world over; they are united by a secret bond.”
– Albert Schweitzer
A couple of months ago I was contacted by a former seminar attendee whose life “was falling apart”. When I heard her story it reminded me of when health problems, chronic pain and anxiety got too big for me to handle. I know she ducked out on the part of my seminar on finding fellowship and also found it hard to ask anyone for help. After talking with her I wanted to do a blog dedicated to finding support. I would like to review the 2 things that helped me the most, fellowship and faith.
It is so easy to feel alone when you have pain. It takes so much away and it is difficult to reassemble your life. It gets frustrating when those around you don’t always understand your experience. Life is tough enough, when you add in pain, it is just too much to handle alone. You must learn to ask for help. What seems simple, asking for help, takes a lot of courage and humility. Asking for help can begin your fellowship. A fellowship is an association with people who share one’s interests and experiences. For those with chronic pain building this fellowship is so very important.
There are plenty of people to ask; family, friends, support groups. Once you gain the courage to start asking, it is a priority to assemble a network that has valuable knowledge and experience to share. Find guides who can share experiences, helping you through the hard times of feeling lonely, anxious, depressed and angry.
In this time of social media, there are great opportunities for fellowship, but there is also great polarization around chronic pain issues. Those in the fellowship of the mark of pain need more than ever to band together for advocacy and awareness about our illnesses, treatment and issues.
Bringing down Goliath
To help confront powerful opponents like pain disability and illness. We need to find support that can handle the insurmountable.
A key component of my recovery was faith. Sometimes the light seems to go out, things you thought you knew crumble, your stranded, nothing makes sense and all that is left makes you want to scream. That is when faith can help you bring down your Goliath.
The role spirituality plays in recovery is important. I have found faith to be the pillar to stand on, giving me strength to face fear and suffering. It provides the support to remain balanced when the world tips me over. Faith and Fellowship are most important elements in healing.
Somewhere, Somehow, Please join in the Fellowship of the Mark of Pain.
Take care and I hope you find the support you need!
P.S. – The seminar attendee I mentioned, she asked for help…found fellowship, faith and hope. She is doing great.