Shame / Opioids / Chronic Pain

Hello bloggers and readers

I have been studying a course on shame, and, after only the first three sessions, I am fired up to discuss my view on Shame/ Opioids/ and Chronic Pain.

Where does Shame fit in with Chronic Pain? Society decides certain norms. Because of the opioid restrictions, people with chronic pain are being shamed. Instead of politicians and legislators and policy makers focusing on the chronic pain problem, they have turned around and blamed one of the tools to fight chronic pain – opioids.

I believe that chronic pain is a result, for the most part, of poorly treated trauma – whether that be physical or mental trauma. The body doesn’t see the difference. Pain is Pain. When a society can’t take care of its members, then chronic pain is the result. Communities are the problem, not individuals. Policy makers don’t want you to focus on their poor decisions, their inadequate management of funds, their inability to provide effective and attainable healthcare. They want to blame anyone but themselves. They set about making traumatized people feel shame, as if they are to blame. 

Shame is power. Shame wields power in many ways. The person blaming – holds power over the person who feels shamed. AND Shame awakens our Inner Critic and our Inner Critic wields power over us. Our inner critic makes us sick. In the NICABM course, they liken shame to a “poisoned” plant.

Why do we feel shame? A feeling of shame arises when your Inner Critic makes you feel bad about yourself. Like poison seeping through a plant, it affects your growth. The way to cure yourself from the toxin, is to recognize it, that way you can find the antidote.

Why do we feel shame? Trauma is passed through the genes and trauma imprints as early as the third trimester, which means that shame can be activated very early on in our lives. Like a poisoned seed, it can affect the growth of a plant. But Shame serves a purpose. We are genetically wired to huddle together in groups. Our survival depended on it. Our ancestors knew that left alone, you were defenseless, so if the tribe kicked you out, you died.

Shame is therefore a defense mechanism. Our inner critic is there to make sure we adhere to society norms so that we can fit in, become one with a herd. If we feel shamed, or are shamed by society, our inner critic is there to haul us back into line so that we can be one with the group.

Society wants to keep the power – they don’t want us to focus on the actual problems. They focus instead on the victims in pain and they heap criticism on the millions in pain. Our inner critics are genetically wired to “protect” us and we don’t recognize how staying in our negative space gives others power over us.  We have grown to believe our inner critic. It is hard to change these negative voices in our heads. It is time to take back our power.

There is an epidemic of chronic pain, physical and emotional. The millions of people in pain are paying a terrible price. Living with pain takes enormous strength, yet society makes us out to be weak. By placing a stigma on pain, they are silencing millions. Think about U.F.Os and E.Ts – a decade ago we would never openly talk about believing in “life out there”. Today – 50% of people openly talk about the possibility of life on other galaxies. This needs to happen around conversations of pain.

How can we take the power away from Shame? By using our voice. I will not be silenced. I live with a chronic mental illness and I am proud to be standing strong despite significant mental ill health. More and more doctors and health professionals are opening up about their own pain and the more people stand up and voice their pain, the stronger our voice will be.

Make your voice heard. Own up to physical and emotional pain. Tell your inner critic to step aside. We are part of a strong community of people who are brave enough to voice their pain. We will not be silenced. Hear us Roar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All the best my warrior friends


In NICABM courses, they teach us that

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