A Letter to Teenagers with Chronic Pain

To all of my teen readers,

My chronic pain began a year or so after my bike accident, I was about fourteen or fifteen. I am thirty three now and I still have chronic pain however much of the suffering is gone. Don’t stop reading, it gets better! I know as soon as I write: I still have chronic pain a third of you want to either punch your phone, lap top, or just say “screw this blog!” Bear with me!

Right now most of you are battling just to get through the hour, minutes at times. No one understands you, many do not believe you, and you probably think your entire life has absolutely no damn happiness. You may be losing friends and family members because “how could anyone be in pain all the time” or “how could someone with so much in their world be unhappy all the time?” Why? Because of this quote: Happiness is not determined by what’s happening around you, but rather what’s happening inside you. If you are in constant pain, depression, and feeling anxiety that weighs you down how can anything outside of your life truly make you happy? I know when I was in my teen years with chronic pain I was absolutely miserable. I had a nice home, went to a good school, had “friends”, a boyfriend, an amazing father, and a lot more than people around me. However, I was dying on the inside so nothing on the outside truly mattered. Like most of you I spent most of my time either in school, at various doctor’s, (weekly at the least) or partying with friends just to feel like I “fit in” and self medicating took the pain away for the hours I was out in the woods drinking Bud Ice and smoking more cigarettes I care to remember. The next day I would wake up and sometimes just being ridiculously hung over was better than focusing on my chronic pain. My friends understood hang overs, they could not possible understand chronic pain.

I never thought my life would amount to anything. I spent all my time either thinking about pain, in hundreds of doctor’s offices trying to cure my pain, or lying in bed crying knowing without a shadow of a doubt my life would be awful forever. I felt like a failure, and a disappointment and must have said: “why me?” ten times a day. I felt guilt and sadness and sometimes truly did think that had I not been born or just ended my life, everyone around me would be better off. This went on for so many years and every time I saw a doctor or had a surgery I would have so much hope that my pain would end that when it stayed the same or actually got worse I wanted to just disappear even more. I know where all of you are right now and I wish to God I could comfort you all and take your pain away.

No, I never found a cure to end my chronic pain. There was no magic pill or surgery or treatment that took my pain away. Never happened but here I am: healthy, a mother, a social worker, a friend, a writer, an athlete, a health nut, and most importantly I am ok. I manage chronic pain naturally which for many of my teen readers probably think: “sure she has chronic pain, how the hell could she do this without any medications or help?” I totally get that. If I was reading this at your age I would have probably slammed my computer off after seeing the words: chronic pain and natural relief. The fact that you are reading my blog is a huge sign that you are doing better than I was at your age because I was so focused on finding a cure that seeing that as not an option would have made me stop at the first entry written on here. You don’t see it, but you freaking strong as hell.

I never want you to feel alone or that it will not get better. Nothing needs to be solved today or even tomorrow. I am here for you, I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I have been so extra busy lately that some of you may think I am not thinking of you or ignoring you. That could NOT be further from the truth. I ask all of you one favor: do NOT give up. It does get better. You have to believe me, I have been through hell and made it. If I can do this, anyone can. It is not easy. Managing chronic pain naturally has taken me years to learn and there are still times when it can take over. You must take one day at a time and not think your life will never be happy. If you want my email address tell me! Never ever feel guilty. Yes, my life is busy but I do believe I was put on this earth to help those with chronic pain. Pain made me who I am: the good, the bad and the ugly. It gets better so when you are having those awful dark moments remember my story and know you can reach out to me.

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A Letter to Teenagers with Chronic Pain

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6 thoughts on “A Letter to Teenagers with Chronic Pain

  1. This post practically describes my last 4 years struggling with chronic pain, I stopped my quest for a cure tried everything possible then ran out of things to try, the only thing left to do was learn to accept my condition, which I have spent the last 3 months doing and I haven’t felt this good emotionally in over 4 years.

  2. Sam says:

    Best of luck to you Sian that’s a hard road & it sounds like you’re still able to gather yourself and start new again and that says a lot about your strength, your heart, and determination. That kind of resiliency is really helpful and needed at times. It sounds like you’re off to a good start 🙂

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