a man listens to music on headphones, pushing away red bursts of pain

Battling the Pain in One's Self

Chronic pain, everyday stigmas, and strict regimens can feel constricting, debilitating, and isolating. Isolation, that feeling of aloneness, can sneak up on you at any time.

There is a realization that the pain, emotional hurt of stigmas, and reminders of illness have to be experienced within one’s self.

Dealing with emotional pain

Throughout all these life challenges, you may be surrounded by friends, family, and caretakers. But, their knowledge of your own experiences is still limited.

In certain experiences, I’ve gone through hurt so much that I would not want to imagine sharing that experience with the people that I love. This notion applies to trauma, emotional, and physical pain as well. There is a part of me that still has to leave room for these emotions to manifest in my thoughts in order for me to let them go and move on.

Writing helps me let my emotions go

Writing has always been that outlet for me. There is a clarity that I receive from writing down my emotions into constructions of language. It makes clear my intentions in a sea of chaos. It helps me cope with emotions and pains that seem insurmountable by actually seeing them for what they are: experiences.

It does not take away the pain or make it any better. But, it does help me put a name on the emotion I’m experiencing and recognize it as either true to myself or coming from a place of fear and anxiety. It gives me a choice to then let the emotion go if it is not serving me.

The meditative state of song and music

Music and singing serve a similar purpose for me. It can all begin with playing the piano or practicing sight-reading melodies. After a while of playing or struggling through exercises, I just let go a little bit and start to make music with the melodies in my own way. Sometimes I just play a few notes on the keyboard and have the foot pedal down so that I can hear the notes ‘sound out’ or sustain the sound over a long period of time.

This meditative state of song oftentimes gives me a moment of reprieve from the feelings or pain that I am experiencing at the moment. The song can be so sweet to listen to that you can imagine yourself in a place very different from your bedroom. The experience can be thrilling and you may experience it in your own life when you play your favorite album. Something is transcendent about music. It can elevate your experience to new heights.

I'm grateful to be able to express myself

There is a balance between the two. It seems like writing represents a grounded real-world practice and music is an imaginative exercise.

For me, both have a place and a need to overcome my personal feelings of isolation and pain. Everyone will most certainly have different ways to access these tools of coping and usually flow from things we are good at or activities that make us feel one hundred percent comfortable and able to express.

In sharing my thoughts, I am grateful to have the H-I-V.net community as a way to express myself and help others do the same. It is a way for us to complement our health goals with positive strategies to cope with life. Comment Below!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The H-I-V.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.
poll graphic

Community Poll

Since your diagnosis, has your faith or spirituality changed?