How the expectation of relief changes pain

Pain is a complex experience

…I enjoy the waiting. Once I have decided that today is going to be a tramadol day, and I’ve given myself a deadline before which I absolutely will not cave in and take it, my experience of pain is transformed. Rather than grinding and hopeless, it feels charged, electric. The difficulty I have standing up (or sitting down) begins to feel noble. The constant, miserable, and exhausting stretching I do to relieve pain and stiffness in my joints acquires a warm-up quality.

I am already removed one degree from my own experience and it is a little more observable, a little more interesting.

From Carlyn Zwarenstein’s Opium Eater: The New Confessions.