The Pain of “The Ache” and Getting Through It

Are you familiar with the ache? The aching, longing, super sad and somewhat devastating feeling in the pit of your stomach that almost takes your breath away? I know perhaps I sound dramatic, and it’s possible that I am a bit dramatic, but… this ache hits me now and then, and it truly just *sucks*(no other appropriate word for it coming to mind).

It’s like I said in my last post, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by my own thoughts, and when this happens, it takes some work to pull through. It’s a conscious effort.

Times like these I am extra sensitive. Times like these I am prone to self-pity. Times like these I have to watch out and make sure I make healthy choices in order to dull the emotional pain and in order to move through it.

I don’t think I am alone in experiencing this, although some of my own personal challenges might make me a little more prone to experiencing this ache, but I think it’s human. I think some people are really good at ignoring it and others really good at concealing it. Me, I kind of wear it on my sleeve, and I want to dull the pain, in a healthy way.

Unhealthy options that people, like myself, who suffer from depression, anxiety, ptsd, etc may choose to deal with the ache include *shopping in excess (I so wanted to do this today) *overeating *alcohol consumption *self-harm *food restriction*drug use… you get the picture. There are lots of unhealthy options, but, in actuality, there are a lot of healthy options too, they just don’t seem to come to mind as easily, especially when we might be used to using one of the previously mentioned coping mechanisms to soothe the pain.

What’s your vice? What are you doing to dull the pain? What are the healthy alternatives? Do you need some ideas?

For me, writing is one of the things that soothes the pain for me, blogging and reaching out to others who may be experiencing something similar, makes an enormous impact of me emotionally, especially nice is when I get comments (hint, hint).

Taking time to be active, especially the invigorating walks that I have been incorporating into my life more and more lately. It’s me time and it really feels so good. Even in the cold today, which was a little uncomfortable, it still felt good, I was oddly surprised.

Recalling happy moments, just the moments, simple moments. A moment of laughter with your child, a walk in a park and the smell of Fall leaves, the beauty in a candle flame… Little moments like these bring an almost instantaneous twinkle to my eye.

Turn on some happy tunes. Music makes my life so much more rich and full, but sometimes I forget. When I’m aching, physically and/or emotionally, I seem to forget what a difference some good music can make to my mind, body and soul. Turn it on and turn it up load if you are up for it, you might find yourself dancing in the living room, or maybe just tapping your foot.

Connect. Connect with someone, anyone. Pick up the phone and call someone, walk to a neighbor’s house (make up a silly excuse if you have to and preferably a neighbor you know), update your status on Facebook and see if anyone is available to chat, send out some “tweets” on Twitter and just connect. If things are really tough, call Lifeline 1.800.273.TALK. There will always be someone on the end of that line.

Hopefully this has given you a few healthy ideas to help dull the pain of “the ache”. You know, in all honesty, I am just reminding myself of the options I have, the good options. Let’s choose the good ones.

4 thoughts on “The Pain of “The Ache” and Getting Through It

  1. Great post, Amy. I know for me, I need my writing to keep me focused and to just let things out, sometime, most of it I never share with anyone except myself. It’s therapeutic in that regard.

    Thanks as always for sharing!

    -Paul

  2. What a terrific post!

    I’m all too familiar with your description of “the ache” and too am guilty of using unhealthy and foolish methods of trying to dull the excruciating pain of it. However, I have learned that taking care of me first, helps tremendously.

    I am solely responsible for my personal maintenance. If I don’t take care of me, nobody else will. It’s my responsibility to eat right. Nobody else plans my meals, shops for me, nor spoon feeds me. I have a free will and sole resposibility for consequences relative to what I consume.

    Exercise is exclusively my responsibility. It’s on me to build the best body that I can build. Exercise is free and its return is short-term/long-term and invaluable. Exercise is necessary for overall wellness. I see my body everyday, its shape, its size, its condition. I feel the workings of my body. If I don’t maintain it correctly, nobody else will, or can, for that matter. Like getting into shape, getting out of shape does not happen overnight. At some point everyone makes the choice as to whether you really care which way you want to be –and the world knows it.

    Here is a cursory list of things I do to help prepare myself against the attack of “the ache.”

    1. Eat right, get plenty of rest/water and excercise (daily & vigorous — get my heart pumping);
    2. Listen to music. Music. MUSIC. I listen to all of it. Life is a soundtrack and I’m always listening;
    3. Bubble baths by candlelight (for intentional relaxation — my regular gift to me);
    4. Reading (edifying things that speak to my heart & soul);
    5. Writing (I chronical inspiration & purge the crap that vexes me);
    6. Cooking/baking (this activity involves ALL of my senses — amazing therapy and distraction from internal dialogue);
    7. Gardening (nurturing & healing dwells in nature’s unsurpassed beauty);
    8. Cleaning (very therapeutic, lucrative environmental investment, but doesn’t cancel out need for exercise : ) );
    9. Avoid negativity (including news broadcasts and negative people — highly contagious — I eliminate as much audio air pollution as possible); and
    10. Be kind, loving, forgiving, SMILE & help others. Live the Golden Rule and for God’s sake, L A U G H!!! Don’t take everything, everyone and yourself so seriously : ) Love and laughter are the best medicine in life.

    This is my list. These things work for me. I certainly don’t have the answers for anyone else. I try my very best to be the best me I can possibly be, for me and to me, every single day. It’s hard work. But, I, am worth it.

    While this comment may appear very vain (me, me, me… I, I, I…), that’s where it starts: with me… (and you), first.

    Two questions: 1) If I don’t love me, and love me well, why should anyone else? And, 2) If I don’t love me, and love me well, how can I possibly begin to know *how* to love anyone else well?

    I’m not immune to experiencing the rude and unannounced visitation of “the ache.” I have found, however, that offensive protocol — being ready for its sorry self and its cowardly sucker punches — helps me to defend myself against its potental and intended devastation.

    Thanks for all you do. Thank you for the beautiful gift of YOU!

  3. I thank you for this blog. I’ve been struggling for a long time in silence and sadness with this”ache” and I haven’t yet found anything to ease the pain and wear it on my sleeve. This blog makes me want to cry because i have noone i can talk to. Noone who understands. I’m to afraid to call the helpline. I think im secretly afraid they will hunt me down and lock me away if i do.

    I am a work in progress though and blogs like this help. I’m trying my hand at blogging to see if getting some of this stuff out helps. It may seem strange to say but it helps just knowing there are people out there who understand where I am. Depression is such a lonely and isolating disease.

    thank you again so very much.

    • It means so very much to me that I am able to let someone else know that they are not alone, as you are right, “depression can be such a lonely and isolating disease”. Sometimes it can be so hard to grasp onto the idea that we are not alone, especially when the pain is very intense, but in connecting through blogs, etc. we can try to remind ourselves and it can be a great source of comfort.

      I understand your fear about calling the helpline, but I can tell you, if you are in a really dark moment, it is a far greater risk not to call.

      We are all works in progress… we are just doing the best we can to be healthier and to find our way to a life with more light than darkness. I hope you will continue to reach out to me and I look forward to reading your blog!

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