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The First Time I Laughed at My Chronic Pain

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When people think of pain they generally don’t associate it with laughter, but when dealing with chronic pain, sometimes you have to find a way to laugh at your pain. It sounds ridiculous and almost impossible at times, and sometimes it is, but if you can manage to find a way to laugh at it, it almost tells your pain that it’s not important. The pain doesn’t go away – gosh, I wish it would – but laughter tells it, “Hey, you don’t control my life,” even if it’s a lie.

One of the first times I managed to laugh at my pain was when I named my pain. I named my pain Princess Penelope. I decided to name it that because soon I gave my pain an imaginary face and had it dressed up as a princess and a princess is just way too proper to cause anyone any harm or pain. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it had me laughing and while it didn’t take away my pain, it made me concentrate on the laughter more. Redirecting my focus is what it did. It redirected my focus to something more positive.

Princess Penelope and I still don’t get along very much – we fight often – but sometimes I just laugh at her and she runs away and hides. Other times she gets mad and tries to fight back. It really depends, but sometimes it can help. I mean, hey, when all else fails, why not just try something completely bonkers?

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Thinkstock photo via Jupiterimages.

Originally published: April 19, 2017
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