Cwtch? What Is It And Why Does Every Chronic Pain Warrior Need To Find Theirs? - Pain 2 Possibilities

Cwtch? What Is It And Why Does Every Chronic Pain Warrior Need To Find Theirs?

“CWTCH” (pronounced kutch, rhymes with butch). Is that even a word? What does CWTCH have to do with Chronic Pain Warriors?

I assure you it is not just a word; it is a special word with a unique meaning. It is what Chronic Pain Warriors search for. It is what Chronic Pain Warriors want and need, but it is elusive. You will soon love this strange little word.

The word CWTCH is of Welsh origin. It has several meanings all of which are warm, cozy, accepting and full of love. It is unique in that there is no English word that has the same meaning. It takes several English words to express the same sentiment and I have yet to put together a sentence that conveys the meaning accurately.

The seed I now call CWTCH was planted a long time ago. My chronic pain journey began over 20 years ago and although I could not name it, I have searched for my CWTCH ever since. I am certain that whether you realize it consciously or not, if you are a Chronic Pain Warrior, you are searching for your CWTCH to.

The first time I saw this funny little word, I was surfing the internet with no particular purpose. I stumbled across a blog written by a woman who identified herself only as “Female blogger who resides in the Welsh countryside”. I have tried to reach out to her. I would love for her to know the impact her blog post had on my life, and I would love to be able to credit the writer. Her post was written August 28, 2008, but it is truly timeless.

“What is a CWTCH?

A CWTCH is a small cozy place, a snug: in my nana’s house, a miner’s cottage in the South Wales valleys, the CWTCH is a long kind of cupboard which fills the space under the stairs. It is her larder with shelves floor to ceiling, which was, in my young eyes, full of marvelous treasures … mysterious tins and the best treasure of all – the button box. I would be allowed to bring the button box out and tip the contents on the carpeted floor in the lounge, the next hour or so would be spent sorting by size, by shade, by preference. The box was a myriad of treasures – pearl buttons, wooden buttons, pretty buttons from dolls clothes, large buttons from coats … wonderful. The CWTCH also contained a number of items which had belonged to my Grampy, whom I never met. These items – an old camera, his binoculars and a money box with combination lock were particularly revered. I remember spending days and days trying to work out the combination for the box, I eventually managed it and was so pleased to have established a link with my long passed Grampy.”Cwtch” also has another meaning. It is another kind of small place; it is the act of creating a small space between you and another. It is like a hug … but much-much better! There are degrees of CWTCH-ing. To “CWTCH-up” is to snuggle up with someone, particularly lovely on a cold Welsh winter’s night. There is just a plain old “CWTCH” much like a hug (but better), and then there’s “a-big-CWTCH”, now “a-big-CWTCH” is something special, it is a “CWTCH” but with extra gusto, it’s the kind of CWTCH you give when you haven’t seen a loved one in years, it’s the kind of CWTCH where you squeeze with all your might. What’s wonderful about CWTCH-es is they reach out, and they engage with feeling.”

I have never forgotten this word or this story. I have read this blog post 1000 times over the years and it still brings up new thoughts and emotions. It still takes me to my own carefully constructed CWTCH in my mind. It brings me comfort.

When Deana described her dream, her vision for the chronic pain community, this funny little word sprung out of me before I even realized I said it. It fits. It works. It is what she sees for Chronic Pain Warriors everywhere. It is what every Chronic Pain Warrior searches for. Let’s find your CWTCH together.

Wishing you a “CWTCH” kind of day
Barb Thornton
CWTCH Community Ambassador & Co-Creator