This is one of the most important life lessons one could ever learn for both a person who is hurting another and for the subject being hurt. This is why I never judge another person for almost anything he or she does. A couple of days ago a tragedy happened in our little town: a thirty-one year old male was found by two fisherman dead after drowning in the lake we live in. Authorities say there were no signs of foul play and they are currently doing a toxoligy report. Some of the children my daughter plays with are older and one said: “Well if he was on drugs he deserved to drown.” As much as I wanted to go into my spiel about ‘victims of victims’ and that we should be praying for this man, not condemning him, I did not. These are not my children and it is not my place; not to mention they are young and these are concepts adults have a difficult time with much less kids under the age of ten. A person must be hurting tremendously inside to either drown because of the amount of drugs/alcohol in their system or to commit any form of suicide. Hell, I have thought about suicide many years ago because of chronic pain. Why? Because I was hurting and nothing would take it away. The curse of chronic pain at this point in time caused me to do things that truly made me hate myself.. In turn I was mean to the people I loved and then felt tremendous guilt for my anger which only turned into more anger. I wanted to punch my invisible illness (still do from time to time) but the issue remains that it is quite difficult to punch something one cannot see. Hurt people hurt others and ninety-nine percent of the time what is said or done to hurt the receiver of anger has nothing to do with him or her. No happy persons hurts another. This is so damn important to remember.
People with chronic pain generally have a lot of guilt and a low self-esteem. We think very low of ourselves because all we care able to see is our pain. We begin believing everything is our fault, which in reality is just not true. I remember in my darkest hours of chronic pain having arguments with people and always blaming myself and in turn hating myself that much more. Looking back, sometimes I really did not do anything to deserve the way I was treated. But, because I hated myself I thought: “Of course this is my fault. If I had not said this or done that, none of this would have happened. I’m worthless. I deserve put downs. Look at me. I am a hot mess.” Yes, at this time I was a hot mess but none of us are worthless or deserve to feel we do not deserve to exist because of an illness we never asked for. Whomever (we are going back eleven years) was hurting me and putting the blame on chronic pain was clearly unhappy themselves. It becomes a vicious cycle.
This is why I drill into my reader’s heads “self-love.” I get how hard it is to love yourself when you are where I was ten , fifteen years ago. It may at this point in time be impossible but you will get there. Try and remember that you hate chronic pain, you do not hate yourself. And please remember that when someone puts you down or calls you names he or she is in pain and what he or she is saying is not true: do not internalize any negative comments said about you. Hurt people hurt people and it becomes a vicious cycle that will never end until a person is ready to accept their life in whole and begin the process of self-love.