What doesn't kill you makes you _______.
February 18, 2014 2:06 PM Subscribe
Looking for advice on coping mentally and emotionally
with a long stretch of stress, boredom and pain — when these are things that I ordinarily find very hard to tolerate. (No need to worry about coping physically; the logistical details of preparation, pain management and aftercare have been taken care of.)
posted by this is a thing to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I will soon be spending two straight eight-hour days getting a procedure done that is both intensely painful and extremely boring. It's not a tattoo,* but I'm told it's at least as difficult as spending an equivalent amount of time getting tattooed someplace bony and sensitive.
All the logistics are taken care of. I've gotten good advice on pain management and aftercare from the team who will be doing the work. I'll be allowed to take short breaks if I need to. I'm bringing comfortable clothes, some books on tape to listen to, and a favorite stuffed animal. I'll be staying with people I love and trust while I recuperate.
I'm still absolutely terrified. I'm honestly just awful at coping mentally with boredom, exhaustion, stress, pain and discomfort. I'm afraid I will end up breaking down partway through and refusing to finish the procedure (which I've already put down a lot of money on) — and, even more than that, I'm afraid that if I do go through with it, it will be unbearable or even traumatizing.
Still, rather than give up, I'd like to have a shot at conquering these fears. I do know, rationally, that the pain will end eventually and won't kill me. But I doubt I'll find that very comforting halfway through an eight-hour day. How else do I prepare myself, mentally and emotionally, to face the pain while it's going on?
*Since someone is sure to ask: it's a marathon facial electrolysis session, under local but not general anesthesia. Everyone I know who has done this reports that the local anesthetic injections reduce the pain but do not eliminate it, and that it is still intensely uncomfortable. Also, like a tattoo, it involves sitting very still while the electrologists work.