A recent NPR report revealed that 20% of adults in America are living with chronic pain. This issue is so prevalent that medical schools are now having additional coursework for aspiring doctors pertaining to pain management so that they will be able to treat this pain epidemic thoughtfully and holistically. How do we help those who are in pain while also combatting the opioid crisis that plagues our society?
Others are asking the question, where is all this pain coming from? Those who are asking this question often reference the seminal text on trauma and the somatic response to the trauma: The Body Keeps Score. The author suggests that even when we are years past the traumatic event, our bodies hold onto the memory of the trauma for much longer.
Jamie Lee Finch in her recent book, You Are Your Own says:
There are ways to help surivors recognize that the physical and psychiological reactions resulting from traume are messages – attempts from the body to try and expain what has happened. Imbalances, illnesses, anxietiesm and pains are signal flares from our deeper selves searching for rescue (78-79).
We are not well. We are hurting. We are in pain.
We need healing. The type of healing that can only come from the gospel of light and love and resurrection.
May God grant us the courage to embark on the journey of deep, soul-filled searching. May God grant us the community to sustain us along the journey.