I wasn’t going to discuss this on my blog. I likely never will again, but today it’s weighing on me, which means the words need to escape, which means I’m writing about it. Here it goes.
It’s like a little, terrible secret you pack around with you. You try to stuff it down into the tiny pocket on your jeans, but it’s a backpack filled with bricks. It’s in your mind every second. Sometimes it can be pushed way in the back, tricking you into thinking it’s gone, but it never is, because it’s chronic pain. Neck or back or leg or foot or stomach or even emotional pain. Whatever it is, it hurts and it hurts all the time.
I don’t know the statistics on how many actually suffer from this, but I do know if you don’t, you don’t understand. It’s hard to even explain really. Some days it’s push on, keep going, act like normal. Other days it’s cranky, frustrated, irritated, tears. All the days it’s as big to you as a giant forest. Yet you know there are much worse things happening in the world, so your giant forest feels small. It’s a strange place to be.
Sometimes the reason for the pain is known, sometimes it’s not. I’m not sure if one makes it any better. Either way, you live with it. Medications have side effects and negative looks (somehow pills equal shame or you’re going to be addicted.) Taking no medication affects the ability to actually enjoy your day because, well…it hurts. Either option is bad.
Nobody really wants to talk or think about it. I get it. It’s not a happy subject. Add to that the inability to truly relate. Plus it’s not visible. If someone walked into a room of people with an axe buried in their shoulder blade, that would be obvious, right? Chronic pain usually isn’t. You walk into the room with an invisible axe buried in your shoulder blade and look completely normal. (Refer back to the bag of bricks secret.)
It’s frustrating when others ask about it. You don’t want to be the person known for being in pain or even want them to be concerned with it. You want it to stay invisible, yet it’s frustrating when others don’t ask about it because you’re silently suffering and hoping for empathy.
Some days it’s hard to fulfill mom and wife and just general life duties. There are no sick days, no requesting time off. It’s a work through it system, so then comes guilt. There are times when maybe your tone wasn’t the nicest, maybe you were short tempered. We all mess up, but it’s pretty annoying to feel like it was the pain talking.
I could say so much more about it, but I’ll just say this…To all the chronic pain sufferers reading this, you aren’t alone. Maybe you have a different type of pain or maybe you feel differently about it. That’s ok. Just know, there are other silent sufferers out there. For whatever reason stupid pain encompasses your days, please know you are strong and you are brave and you are loved.