This entry sparking from a comment on the entry Managing My Raynaud’s Symptoms. The purple ribbon is a symbol for Lupus so I tend to refer kits and such as a purple kit or purple pack. Orange is the ribbon for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

For years I’ve been treated for chronic pain as well as the depression and despair that comes with a chronic illness. I may not have known the correct name of the chronic illness but I knew I needed a safety plan.

Pain levels
At the time my pain rises too high, the world stops right then and there and I go into safety mode because I run a real risk of killing myself. First off, my baseline is an eight. I can manage a level 8 without losing my mind but an 8.5 or higher puts my life at risk. I want to avoid that. I want to handle things before I reach that point.

Talking myself down during high pain
I run inside my head as if there’s some place to shield me from my body. I panic. I think stuff like, “I can’t do this. I can’t do this again.” My breathing is faster. I have to pull myself together so I don’t panic and forget to take care of me. I start talking to myself, sometimes out loud. I don’t care if I’m in a car, at the store, walking up the stairs, it doesn’t matter. If I have to talk to myself out loud then I don’t care what others think. They don’t matter to me right then. Being embarrassed doesn’t matter to me right then.

I tell myself I’ll be okay. I say, my name is Faith Magdalene Austin. I’m ….. on and on. It’s the year 2016. I’m going to be okay. Keep breathing, control your breathing.

I let myself cry. At that time I am very emotional so there always seems to be a memory that pops up that is pleasant so I start to go through the memory out loud. If I’m in public it means I’m with someone so I start telling them the memory. One time I had a memory of a painting where a little girl was walking in a field of purple flowers. I began to go through the painting as if I was that girl. At tears streamed down my face and I held onto the bottom of my vest, I talked about the flowers. I talked about the way the grass felt on my feet until finally I was able to stop talking, close my eyes and rest.

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