Every eighteen minutes someone dies from suicide. I have written before about suicide and chronic pain but did not go into other invisible illnesses. I have met people with chronic pain who have attempted suicide and thank god were unsuccessful. I know a woman whose husband was successful in his suicide. She had chronic pain, he did not.
We meet people every day and we do not know their stories or what they are feeling inside. Someone may look completely happy on the outside and yet be battling something we know nothing about. Very few people knew I had chronic pain and just assumed that I was this happy, go lucky girl. Not knowing that every night I cried myself to sleep and most days felt like a never ending war with myself.
We must be very careful how we treat others no matter how they treat us. Nobody knows what someone is going through. Prior to my battle with chronic pain and seeing how it has destroyed men and women I have been close to, I used to judge people myself. Someone would be rude to me in a store and I would whisper, “bitch” under my breath silently hoping she would hear me. Someone would cut me off while I was driving and I would give he or she the finger. Not anymore. Now, if someone is rude to me I am not rude back. Ok, I’m not perfect some days I am having a terrible time and I may be rude but never on purpose, that is true. I am very cognizant of how pain (physical and/or emotional) can change a person’s behavior. Most times if someone is rude to me, I actually feel sad. I wonder what is happening in their life to make them want to act so unkindly. There are multiple times I can remember saying to a friend or my husband: “Maybe they just lost a loved one, or maybe their child is sick or they are worried that they will not have enough money at the end of the week to put food on their table.” We just do not know. It does not hurt us to be kind to people even if they are unkind to us. We are all fighting battles, others know nothing about.