Chronic pain can cause one to feel more alone than any illness or life change there is. I have been though many heartaches and difficulties that have nothing to do with chronic pain. Some would say I had a very difficult childhood. My parents divorced before I was the age of one and at times their decisions impacted me in negative ways. It took me many years to understand why they made certain choices they did. As Louise Hay says: “We are all victims of victims.” Yes, my childhood was challenging at times for reasons and events that are not important to share but I got through it. I had a lot of amazing times as a child too. The difficulties I experienced as a child are things I was able to talk about with other people and they understood.
I had painful breakups where I thought the world was going to end and my friends had to spoon feed me soup because I was too upset to eat. The pain of a breakup can last a long time but it goes away with time. I had a ton of friends I could talk about my breakups with and they understood and were eager to listen and share their painful breakup experiences with me.
Even brain surgery following my bike accident I was able to talk about with anyone and everyone because it is a pretty remarkable story and everyone wanted to be there for me following my accident. I received flowers, balloons, and so much love. There was a chance I would not survive my bike accident (brain surgery is no joke) so of course I had TONS of support from my family and friends.
Chronic pain is something that I was never able to find someone to talk to about. Many friends thought I was making it up or I was crazy. If you looked/look at me I look perfectly healthy. I was never able to find anyone who could relate to chronic pain and I began to think I was crazy myself. After years of suffering alone I searched the internet, I looked for support groups, I looked high and low for just one person to say: “I believe you. I know exactly what you are going through.” It took years of doctor visits, surgeries, depression, and thoughts of wanting to die until I ended up at the Mayo Clinic and was surrounded by people with chronic pain. They understood me and I finally did not feel alone.
The struggle of managing chronic pain naturally takes more strength than any other struggle I have been through. Anyone suffering from this invisible illness know that you are not alone. I understand, I know that you are not crazy, and you can be happy and manage chronic pain naturally. I have to keep on being strong because maybe I can be that person to others that I searched years to find. I never want anyone to feel the loneliness and depression I felt because of chronic pain.
I hope I can inspire people. I know I sure as hell needed some inspiration for many years and would have given a lot to read that I was not alone.