Ashamed, useless, defective, afflicted, weak, oversensitive, dramatic, lazy, broken; this is how chronic pains feels to me every single day although the levels fluctuate.
If I’m having a bad day and end up cancelling an appointment my feelings of being weak and useless will spike. Later that night if I find the energy to paint a little and cook something from scratch for dinner I’ll feel a little less useless but I’ll also be scared I overdid it while being active and I’ll pay for it physically tomorrow.
The other day I cried my eyes out watching Lady Ga Ga: Five Foot Two on Netflix. I was crying because I could relate to her frustration and struggle with pain that never goes away. She mentioned feeling as though she were always, “chasing pain.” I feel as though that sums up what it’s like to constantly having to pain.
I watched the movie in the morning then went back to bed at 11am and slept the rest of the day and all of though the night. The next day consisted mainly of the same thing. I had overdone it on two occasions during days prior, my body made me pay the price and no amount of guilt or self flagellation could change this.
My husband and friends are kind when a flare up like this happens and tell me not to feel bad about it. I can’t help it though, I want be out in the world or at least tidy the house. I want so badly to be useful but frequently dishes wait, dust builds up, and I am forced to rest and rest and rest.
Will I be in pain today? Absolutely.
How much pain? Depends on the day.
A long time ago, near the beginning of my chronic pain journey a psychologist asked, “what do you think it would be like to have a day without pain?”
Looking back it was a terrible question, a question that’s haunted me for years. I haven’t had a day without pain in 12 years.