Escaping pain never works. You can try, but there will always be a time when you are left alone in the abyss of your thoughts and the pain will re-surface. Drugs, sex, alcohol.. they are perfect engines for your own escape, but eventually they will become your consistent means of running away from what is actually hurting you.
As I approach my fifth day without sleep I must admit I am finding the thought of battling my way through until bed time a daunting concept. You may notice I use words like fighting, battling and defences. I do so as when you are in the grip of very high levels of pain you really feel like you are at war.
What might be the basis for not accepting second class health? Perhaps because its as innate to our spiritual sense to feel health is natural as it is politically to demand equal rights. "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties," mused Swiss poet and philosopher Henri Frédéric Amiele.
How do you feel when you get out of bed each morning? In great shape and ready to face the day or do you have an underlying niggle, a pain you've never been able to address? Unfortunately, for many of us it is the latter. What do you tend to do about it? If your answer is nothing, then you are one of many people who are ignoring regular pain.
It's World Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) Day on Saturday 4 May. Whilst advanced AS can cause fusion in the neck, spine and sometimes other areas and hence a change in posture, it can often be invisible. Not many people know much about AS, despite the fact that it is not a rare condition. It also is a form of arthritis that affects young people.
I started thinking - how often do people put themselves at risk in the pursuit of good health? How often do people end up injured, in hospital or left needing long-term treatment because of skiing or other leisure activities? What's the cost of sporting injuries, both to our health and financially, in comparison to being inactive?