How I Learned to Cope with Chronic Pain #MensHealthAwarenessMonth

man curled up into a ball on ground. Image shot overhead
By Guest Author
Posted by: Vivek Mehmi

I know what its like to not feel in control of a situation. To ride the waves of hope and despair, to feel life is unfair and passing by. 

My chronic health challenge that flares up on its own accord, reminds me that sometimes we have to accept that things are tremendously uncomfortable.

In these moments, I tune out the unnecessary, I reconnect to myself in ways that bring the most beautiful growth. Mainly, I stop the judgment of myself. That I should be doing this or that health regime, diet, or protocol and I allow myself and body to do what it needs to survive.  Getting to this point hasn’t been easy, at times it gets so painful that I grasp at anything for relief.  I have felt time-scarcity often, that I should be at a certain place in my life, and have all these markers of “success”;  being married, own property, a well paying job, cars etc. I am constantly reminded that life is passing me by, and I fear that I won’t get the chance to accomplish everything I want to. 

We are taught to look outside ourselves for answers, and that resolutions to our problems should come quickly. I have seen upwards of 20 doctors/ practitioners, with a constant reoccurrence of my symptoms and my mind still searches for a remedy.  Sometimes when I am in healing states, I try to push myself extra hard or reclaim my youth and my body will quickly remind me that there is a new state to adhere to.

Many are experiencing this same friction with the pandemic, not accepting what is and trying to make things “normal”. Some challenges don’t have overnight remedies. As much as we want answers and clarity, we don’t get them when we want. We can keep running head first into a brick wall, or use this as an opportunity to focus on the things we can control. Look for new ways to grow, trust there is a right time for everything to unfold and gently allow ourselves to make peace with what is.

To my surprise, the pandemic has actually helped me feel less isolated in some ways. For the first time in a long time, I feel others can relate to me. I don’t feel alone anymore.  COVID-19 has brought our insecurities and truths to the surface, there is a beauty in that.  If we focus on what we  appreciate we can build more love, when we remind ourselves we are in this together. In these last few months I have seen more rallying behind causes and support for charities online than I ever have.  People are awakening and helping others to heal, that gives me hope.


3 out of 4 suicides are men. If you or someone you know is in crisis, the Unison Benevolent Fund provides free and confidential counselling services for registered Canadian music-makers and their immediate family in need of help. Call 1-855-9UNISON to access our resources and support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.