Before I had the tools to learn how to manage chronic pain without medication or treatment I did want to be saved. I wanted my dad to save me, my doctors to save me, my surgeries to save me, and even anyone close to me to save me because I was not in a place to save myself. I did not have the knowledge of what to do or who to turn to. Death seemed at times to be my only option; the only way to save myself. Or at least save the people around me that I felt I was destroying by being so miserable and helpless and sad.
Once I learned the tools to manage my chronic pain sans medication or treatment I no longer wanted anyone to save me. That is not entirely true, I wanted them to save me but I knew they could not. I had to do it myself. There are alcoholics in my family that I cannot save because they have to want it for themselves. It is the same thing. Once I learned how to manage chronic pain in a healthy/drug free way it was entirely up to me to do the work. People did support me in the beginning. They saw the difference in me from pre-mayo clinic to post-mayo clinic and were so proud and wanted to support me in any way possible. The hard thing with my approach to chronic pain is that I do not talk about it. Therefore people think that I am fine, I also look fine. After a few months of “getting flowers for working my ass of to do well with chronic pain.” the support stopped. It is kind of like when someone passes away. For instance, my grandmother (La La) passed away a little over a year ago and it was extremely hard on me. Following her death, there were the funeral arrangements, the funeral, the cards, the flowers and then slowly people go back to their lives. We all do this. We soon forget that the people who lost their loved one are just beginning to grieve and my be grieving for months, years, even decades.
The same goes with chronic pain. Because we (people with chronic pain) deal with this on a daily basis we do lose support. Everyone has their own lives to live and when I seem to be doing well (even if I am not) I rarely get words of encouragement from the people I love. They think I am fine. And why wouldn’t they? No one can save me from my chronic pain and no one can force me to manage my chronic pain in a healthy way. This is the hardest job in my life: managing my pain naturally. Nothing else I do comes close. People ask me how I can run five miles in the morning like it is nothing…..to me it is just so simple compared to the chronic pain battle I live with.
I never want anyone to save me because I know this is a job I can only do myself but I do need people to stand by me through this daily battle. Anyone with chronic pain needs encouragement and support and extra love sometimes. It may look like we are okay but sometimes we are really struggling.