Around 2013 I copied this from a library book. I have tried to find the title and author online and cannot, thus I have no author to credit.
These are not based on 12 Steps, but steps for coping.
- Accept the fact of having chronic pain. (That is enough to make one gag.)
- Set specific goals for work, hobbies and social activities toward which you will work.
- Let yourself get angry at your pain if it seems to be getting the best of you.
- Take your analgesics on a strict time schedule, and then taper off as directed until you are no longer taking any.
- Get in the best physical shape possible, and keep fit.
- Learn how to relax, and practice relaxation techniques regularly.
- Keep yourself busy.
- Pace your activities.
- Have your family and friends support only your healthy behavior, not your invalidism.
- Be open and reasonable with your doctor.
- Practice effective empathy with others having pain problems.
- Remain hopeful.
My first response after typing these steps is “I will with God’s help.” Over the years (since diagnosis in 1990s) I have tried to learn and practice these things. Would love to brag I have mastered them all. I have NOT!
Like Paul I continue to try to learn to yield myself to God and stay responsible to bring my flesh under control. God will not magically take care of this for me. He requires my cooperation.
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.1 Corinthians 9:27 NKJV
Along with my body, I must discipline my mind, my will and my emotions to bring honor to God as long as I live!
In the Episcopalian Book of Common Prayers you can find the Baptismal Covenant. After each declaration the congregation says, “I will with God’s help.” I believe that coping with chronic pain requires my focus upon the goals of this covenant too if I am to be truly successful.
Celebrant Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers? People I will, with God's help. Celebrant Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord? People I will, with God's help. Celebrant Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ? People I will, with God's help. Celebrant Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? People I will, with God's help. Celebrant Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? People I will, with God's help. May the Lord bless you as you face your own struggles. We are all broken and need His help! Consistent self-care is not selfish. Consistent self-care for me is a holy obligation. "These skills protect us by building inner resilience that shields us from most problems and enables us to bounce back from the rest." Just do your best and lean hard upon the Lord. So we moved and by the second day, May 13, I had trashed my back. Really did it the worse than ever before. That slowed down unpacking for certain! I had lots and lots of help, but I did not pace myself well, I did not remember not to bend over. I did lots of things wrong. Degenerative disc disease is one of the reasons we moved. On June 15 I had another epidural. Trying to behave now. Time will tell if that is all the treatment I need. Please pray for me! Hope those coping steps help any of you who also suffer from chronic pain. Twelve step programs often repeat, "It works if you work it!"