The image above truly illustrates how chronic pain feels. The picture is almost too much for me to bear because it does not just demonstrate what physical pain feels like but also what emotional pain feels like. What was the first thing you thought of when you saw this graphic image? For people who are in the depths of hell with their physical pain most likely thought about the daggers that run through their body all day every day with no relief, not even when they sleep. For those without chronic pain other emotions may come up such as: feeling trapped, strangled, stuck, hurt or desperate. It is almost impossible to describe to a person what chronic pain feels like but as the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words. Imagine feeling that you are stuck in between sharp metal that is ripping your body apart and how horrible that pain would feel. Imagine that feeling of severe pain is close to impossible to unravel as the picture above illustrates. The man in the picture is trapped inside this horrible pain: that is what chronic pain feels like. And we wonder why the number one reason a person with chronic pain dies is through suicide. How long could you last in this twine of pain? I lasted ten years but by the eleventh year I gave up and came way too close to ending my own life. As hard as it was I did what I thought was the impossible. I managed to untangle myself from the wraths of what seemed to be never ending twines of pain. I managed to accept pain and learned how to manage it naturally. I cannot imagine how long it would take for the man in the above picture to cut through the strands of the metallic pain he is in but I am sure it would take a long ass time. It took me years to get to where I am now in my world of chronic pain. I cut through the layers piece by piece, layer by layer until one day things started to fall into place and pain no longer controlled my life. I controlled my life. I still control my life despite some difficult days and nights that occur when I find it difficult to distract my mind from pain. Pain no longer dictates my life, I do.
Emotional pain can feel just as bad as physical pain. I go though hard times where I feel as the man above must feel in the above picture. I go through things that I do not always write about because I must keep the privacy of those I love but I know we have all felt the pain the picture above so vividly expresses. We have all felt stuck, depressed, lost, suffocated in grief, and even hopeless at times. As John Greene writes: “That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.” It is okay to feel the emotions you feel when going through a hard time. You cannot hold them in and just expect them to disappear because those feelings of pain will re-surface at the worst time possible. I believe we all have the power to heal if we are honest with ourselves and our situations. Healing takes time. You just have to promise me and more importantly yourself that you will never give up. The twines of pain can be broken through with time, patience, hard work and knowing that as the layers break away the stronger you will be.