I’m definitely feeling a benefit from what I’ve done so far. Like a weight has lifted ever so slightly. I’m still at the stage where I’m superstitiously afraid of jinxing it (I debate with myself about writing this even as I’m doing so). But every day now I go through a process of realisation that what I’ve found actually works — that when my brain is occupied withinagery it cannot process pain. The next phase will be when the connections to imagery and “non-pain stimuli” become so strong that they overthrow the dominance of pain circuitry.
There’s a riskiness that goes along with starting to make genuine progress. When I was first starting out, I had to be very particular with myself while visualising, taking care to run through the whole thing from beginning to end, stopping whatever I was doing whenever I felt pain. But it’s been 19 days now. I’m starting to feel a little bit hum-drum about it. As though it’s no big deal, and if I leave the pain for a while and just finish what I’m doing, then I can fit it in afterwards. This combined with the improvement in pain that I’m already seeing can tempt me into complacency. I tend to have a treacherous mind like that.
It’s more important than ever to keep up the relentless effort. But an effort of will is not going to cut it — I’ll spend some time tomorrow digging up new research and use it for motivation. And keep remembering that the intention is not to accomplish a certain degree of pain relief but to shrink the neural pain connections that are over-excitable.