I keep reading articles about chronic pain on Facebook that start…things only someone with chronic pain would know. These lists are meant to make us feel not alone. Some are also meant to help our loved ones know what we are going through. I find some comfort in that but am slightly disturbed that they don’t understand it already. This ignorance of the plight of us chronic pain sufferers stems from several issues, the worst of which is that no one believes suffering unless they can see it especially if the one suffering has a vagina. The least worse reason is that most of us suffer in the silence of our homes. For me it is because I am embarrassed. I don’t like being so weak. I don’t want people to know I can’t handle things. It doesn’t really matter why someone doesn’t believe I am in pain. In fact, it doesn’t really matter how anyone feels or thinks about my pain…it exists to me and I guess that is all that is really relevant.
It is awful coming to terms with the fact that I will be intermittently in pain for the rest of my life and there isn’t anything I can do about it.
The thing that most of those lists don’t stipulate is that this realization comes smacking me on the face over and over. There are periods, days, where I am gloriously pain free. Then I blessedly forget about my pain. I have to employ this blissful denial or I would enjoy none of my days. Then inevitably the pain returns and I am shattered with the realization once again.
It is the dashing of hope that is demoralizing, and it doesn’t just happen after a period of good days. I selfishly and stupidly allow myself to hope for no pain in the mist of the painful days too.
Yesterday I cried several times because of the pain I was going through before I broke down and took a pain pill. In the midst of the subsequent chill that descended upon me, I had hope it was over this time. I was even so bold to make plans for today: a Walgreens trip, a library trip, and coffee with a friend. Reading this I am sure you can imagine that I again woke up with pain. I will once again put off my library and cancel plans with my very patient friend.
I am tired of being patient. I am angry and disappointed once again. I can not express how angry I am. This anger is further confused and inflamed by the pain. Unless I medicate to wipe out the pain I can’t stop being angry and sobbingly feeling sorry for myself. This is compounding exponentially by the fact that I hate myself for feeling sorry for myself. The emotional component of chronic pain makes it all worse. Not only that but stress makes fibromyalgia pain worse so it doesn’t just add insult to injury but also further injury.
What can anyone say to this? What is the solution? There isn’t one. That is the futility of it all. I keep doing my yoga to minimize the occurrence of pain, which has been the only thing to help so far, but I know from my Grandma and Mom that it will never go away. What is the point of these lists for people like me, how can it really help? How can anyone else help even if they did believe me? I don’t have the answer for those questions. I wish I did. I can only ask them. Right now, I guess I just needed to get out my frustrations with its futility. Will it help to just be heard? I guess I can only see.