This summer, I hit a point in my marathon training where I had a sharp pain on the outside of my left knee. At one point, the pain was so sharp that I couldn’t get beyond three miles and I panicked.
How can I run 26 miles if I can’t even finish three? What if I’m out on the trail running this race and it hurts so bad I can’t go on? What if I can’t run anymore? Why is this happening? I’ve worked so hard for this!
As with many times in my life when I encounter physical pain, this sent me into a mental tailspin. And guess what happened? The physical pain intensified.
Also this summer, I started reading a lot about how physical pain is often a manifestation of deeper emotional pain and trauma. And it’s largely based around our old friend, fear. And while the source of the physical pain is very much real, learning how to cope with it is largely cognitive and mental.
I managed to get my knee pain under control and successfully completed the trail marathon. But the experience led me to really think about the role pain has played in my life. I started tracing back my earliest memories of physical pain—as well as thinking about the fears and feelings that come up when I have physical pain — to help me better cope with the the present and future.
As what usually happens when I start thinking and processing … I start writing. Thus, the Pain Diaries was born. This is an introduction to my new series of writings. I invite you to follow along on Medium for my new series of self-reflective writings and stories.