The stigmatism behind chronic pain is shocking at times. You will find most people with chronic pain have Type A personalities and want to do everything without taking breaks. You will also find that most people with chronic pain are perfectionists and quite hard on themselves if they do not achieve the level of “success” they desire. Later, you will find that people with chronic pain are some of the most sensitive and empathetic persons you will ever meet. Do you know what people with chronic pain hate the most? They hate that they are unable to do the things they love, work full time, and be the person they are inside, buried beneath all of the physical pain they did not ask for. Nobody asks for chronic pain. I now manage it naturally and very well ninety five percent of the time but I have “difficult days” aka days where my pain levels are high and I cannot do as much as I would like to and I have come a long way but it still angers me at times and frustrates the hell out of me. To anyone who comes across my writings please remember this: NO ONE MAKES UP CHRONIC PAIN! No one has any right to judge another person for how he or she lives his or her life but to judge someone with an invisible illness is quite frankly sad and shows the ignorance surrounding this condition. People with chronic pain are not lazy, they are the opposite. I know, I have been on both sides. Those days where I laid in bed crying because the pain was so intense and I felt as if I was dying from within were some of the worst days of my life. The sadness and loss I felt at being stuck inside as my friends and family worked and went to school ate me alive. They were all following the dreams I wanted so desperately and there were times people thought I was just lazy or being a ‘baby.’ Who in their right mind would want to in pain twenty four hours, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year? I have yet to meet someone with that hope. Trust me, no one who has no experience with chronic pain does not want to feel what people with this invisible illness feel every day of their lives. The guilt is already killing them, your judgement is not necessary. I am writing harshly today but it breaks my heart when people write me about the loneliness and judgement they feel from the people they love most.
Yes, I am living proof that one can work, follow their dreams, and live a happy life despite pain but there are days or hours such as this morning where the Universe reminds me just how difficult chronic pain is: its a gift that I sometimes forget. Anyone who does not believe you or your illness needs to be set aside so you are able to focus on your health and your well being. Stress, depression, endless crying, and anxiety only increase pain: who knows what battles the person who “judges” you is facing himself or herself? I believe you and I swear you are not alone.