Putting Out The Welcome Mat For My Pain

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy

Late last night, at around two in the morning, I finally finished reading Stephen King’s “11/22/63”. (It’s an excellent novel, which I would highly recommend.) As soon as I turned off the lamp on my nightstand, and rolled under the covers into my bed, I sensed a flare coming on.

My 1st reaction: Oh no, here we go again…

My 2nd reaction: Hold on a second…I know *exactly* what’s going to happen during the next 30-60 minuntes, second by second. Why not use this as a test, in order to see if I can get through this flare with a new-found sense of awareness?

My 3rd reaction: Cool! Flare, I actually *invite* your arrival, and welcome you with open arms!

And, even though I never thought I’d ever say these words, [insert Carrie Bradshaw’s narrator voice from “Sex and the City” here] last night was the night that I got stood up by a flare.

Okay, I know that recently, I’ve written a lot about accepting the pain, and about getting used to the pain. Maybe welcoming the pain is the next logical step…even so, the last thing that I’d ever imagine myself doing, during those initial minutes when I feel a flare taking hold, was to actually welcome the flare ( and all of the pain that it brings along.) But having done so, and having seen the flare just as quickly disappear–as it did last night–I’m beginning to wonder if I might have actually tapped into something really useful, and into something even more powerful.

Which is the notion that, as soon as I–honestly and genuinely–welcome the pain into my life, whatever remaining stranglehold it’s had on me for so many years just suddenly goes away. Now, I know that I may still encounter many challenges in the future when it comes to pain…but having experienced what I describe above, even if only for one time, was a very empowering experience.

Somehow, though, I sense that this is not going to be the only time that I experience what happened last night. And while I would never egg on a flare, I actually find myself anxiously awaiting the arrival of my next flare, so that I can once again put into practice this new strategy, and see if it works again.

Welcome a flare? Previously, I would have told myself that such a thought was just outright crazy…but now, I’m beginning to think otherwise.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!