Two years ago I was involved in an accident at work that left me in extreme pain and, because the accident involved young children, I suffered from panic attacks and constant anxiety. I was at an absolute low.
The pain didn't subside as I expected, and I was left struggling with everyday activities, and this was having a devastating impact on my family life. I was aware of the strong link between mental health and physical health and knew I needed a holistic approach that would attack the pain from all angles, not simply using medication. So I joined a ten week pain management course run at the Astley Ainslie in Edinburgh where I met a group of caring staff who understood and spoke openly about how pain impacts on work, relationships and mental health. I cried when I heard other people's stories and for the first time I didn't feel alone. The course changed my life and by using the range of strategies taught, I now live alongside my pain rather than inside it.
Only recently have I felt strong enough to write about what happened and, perhaps not surprisingly, I've been able to do so through poetry. The first poem from the series was published in the latest issue of Pain Matters, and it explores the positive impact mindfulness has had on my life.
The Space Between Sounds
With a curious mind
Watch the waves
Crash against my shore.
Search for the silence
Hidden within the pounding rhythm
Of chaos and fear.
I sink into the earth,
Spread my roots,
Welcome the rushing water
As the waves come and go.
Just for this moment,
My pain washes away
And I hear the space between sounds
Emma Mooney is a writer of Scottish contemporary fiction and is the author of A Beautiful Game. and Wings to Fly.