The Depressing Side of Living with Chronic Pain
Monday, December 11 2017 Shelby Tweten
It's so hard living with chronic pain--something that people can't see from the outside--and constantly feeling the need to justify how you feel or act towards others. Being someone with both mental and physical health problems have left me on a rollercoaster of never feeling like I'm good enough.
Living with Chronic Pain Makes Me the Girl with Excuses
Last year I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, along with other physical problems that leave me with chronic pain. The struggle of acting like a "normal" 24-year-old has been anything but easy. I've become the girl with excuses and I think at this point I'm just used to playing it safe. It's easier for me to stay at home all day than go out and be exhausted, in pain or triggered into a worse episode.
'You Don't Look Sick'
Don't you just love it when people feel like they need a visual of how you feel on the inside? I get it that I don't look like someone with health problems, but it's unfair to treat me as if I'm less than another person who "looks" sick. That seems to be a common problem in my life--nobody believes me. Rather than sympathize with me, my last place of employment made me get multiple doctors notes to prove that I had disabilities, even though it was obvious; which is illegal might I add. Just because I don't "look" sick.
I'm Either Screaming Out or Crying Inside
Most of the time I feel like I just can't win. Unless I meet someone with the same problems, it's hard to relate to anyone my age. My friends want to go hiking or work out together or go to an amusement park but those type of things leave me in pain and feeling embarrassed. There are times I still try and it works out if I'm having a good day--more often than not though I'm a liability and I ruin the fun by needing to go home early. My boyfriend shouldn't have to worry about taking care of me this early in life. I shouldn't have to worry about holding a full-time job. It never seems to end because then you add in mental health issues on top of it all.
Living with chronic pain will be my lifetime challenge. Mental illness I can handle. I take my medication every day and for the most part, it's managed, but my chronic pain will never go away. So if you know someone who deals with this sort of thing I hope you reach out and look for ways to make their life easier. You have no idea what they're dealing with just to be able to live a normal life. If you're someone like me, living with chronic pain, I'm right there with you friend. Let's just keep riding this thing called life and enjoy the ride.