Living a semi-normal life when you are unwell takes all your energy. Learning that I have chronic pain has become a job. I’ve tried even harder to remain healthy and not let it affect my mood and personality. It’s struggle that no one sees.
This something I don’t talk about for a variety of reasons. I’m looked at weirdly if I talk about it in reference to my pain. If you test your nerves by testing the strength of your muscles, checking your reflexes, and by seeing how sensitive it is to touch — healthy & normal.
One of the “job hazards” of living with chronic health conditions that cause pain is never knowing what body you’ll wake up in. I could be fine one day and wake up with shooting, burning pain the next. I could wake up feeling fine and then by noon be in agonizing pain and have to sit down. I could be energetic one day and completely fatigued the next as I fight against my sore body. For many people with medical conditions, chronic pain is a constant, day-to-day companion. It never seems to go unfelt or unnoticed, except to passersby who often see laughter, smiles, and energy, not debilitating pain. If you met me, as a stranger, you would never know.
When you are constantly in pain to the point that you would rather cut off every limb because it would probably be less painful, the last thing you want to hear is “it’s in your head and move on with your life, or you don’t look sick.” It can be detrimental to your mental health and well-being to constantly feel that you aren’t being believed. Amid its unpredictability, if you struggle with pain, you learn to treat yourself with care and listen to your needs.
With chronic pain and chronic illnesses, everyone is different. No matter how many people have Central Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, or any other illness there never are two symptoms or warriors alike.