“When someone’s fear touches someone’s pain, it becomes pity. When your love touches someone’s pain, it becomes compassion.”
When someone you love is in pain it is so very difficult to know what to do to help them. I personally know how the people who love me help me in my journey with chronic pain but I cannot always be certain on how to help a loved one of mine deal with their own pain or struggle if I have not faced them myself. Nobody ever wants pity. Ever. I do not talk about chronic pain although it is always there: coping mechanism that has done wonders for me as I have trained my brain to not think about pain. However, now that I am writing about my twenty year life with chronic pain word has gotten out: “Jessica Martin has had chronic pain all these years.” Someone really should have told me about this whole internet thing: talk about word spreading fast! I’m kidding, I want to reach as many people as I can in order to help as many people with chronic pain as I can. But, I (and many of you can attest to this) truly get such negative energy when a person says to me: “Oh My God. I am so sorry. I feel so bad for you. Tell me about your pain. That is just so terrible.” Their heart is in the right place but I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me or look at me differently because I have an invisible illness. Did ya think I was partying my ass off and crying all those nights for fun? Yes, I have had chronic pain for over twenty years: ten of them have been pretty awesome though. So what should a loved one of a person with chronic pain say or do to help him or her?
- “I have no idea what you must be going through, but I love you and I will do my best to understand and be there for you.”
- “I believe you.”
- “You are such a strong person. I know you can get through this and I will stand by you why you muddle through this.”
- “If there is anything I can do, please tell me. Even if you just want a shoulder to cry on.”
- “I am so proud to know you and be a part of your life.”