Monday, May 3, 2010

For those who are NOT in chronic pain

Several years ago I remember my mom sitting down with me and saying that she just didn't understand that I was in pain every day that didn't go away. She said that she had never even known anyone in her life who had pain all the time, and she just couldn't understand how it was for me. I remember feeling so ... alone at that moment, it was the first time that I realized that my experience was not the norm.

I know that most of you who are reading my blog do have chronic pain .. but that some of you don't. The month of May my posts will focus on things that those of us who do have chonic health issues or pain would like those without to understand. There are things that I find it very hard to talk about to someone who doesn't have chronic pain, and things that I think would make it easier to relate to each other. Before I get into this month I want to make clear a point that I believe that EVERYONE has some type of pain - physical emotinal, spiritual, mental .... everyone has something that could criple them or make them a victim. Those of us with chronic pain do NOT have the market cornered on suffering! Suffering and pain is a human condition, and no one is exempt. (this is what will make Heaven all the more exciting too!) All of that said: physical pain that doesn't go away or get better has some interesting and maybe unique characteristics. Understanding some things might help with those who don't have the experience of pain on a regular basis.

The first thing that I would like to have understood about me is that I don't always want to talk about my health. I may not mention how I feel even when I am in a lot of pain, just because I don't want to always focus on it. In fact a lot of my life and time is spent trying to ignore the pain I feel, or trying to distract myself. Often when I am with people they think that just because I haven't told them how bad I feel that I feel good physically. That usually isn't the case. I usually just don't want all the focus to be on my health and I just want to feel "normal". It makes me embarraced to have people always focus on my health, so sometimes I just ignore it. This doesn't mean that I never want to talk about it, just that I don't always want to! It doesn't mean that I want everyone to just ignore that I have pain, just that it doesn't have to be the center of attention. I want those who love me to accept that I do have pain, and that it is serious, BUT that it doens't need to dominate our time or conversation. I want it to be honest, but for everyone to know (as I feel so strongly!) that my illnesses and pain are NOT the most important thing! There is so much more ....


  1. Great post Ali, I struggled for years not wanting to share the full story with my family as I feared somehow never being able to be 'normal' even with my loved-ones.
    Thankfully I never had anger over my disability and subsequent pain, I did however have anger towards some of the treatment by so-called health professionals.

    I think a common fault with all men is the stereo-typical cave syndrome. My solution after many cave years is honesty, even when I don't know why. It's ok to be shitty for no reason, every now & then.

    Life would seem easier if, when asked "How you doing?" you could answer "Meh!" and it be socially acceptable.

  2. Beautifully said! I am one of the lucky ones that dosen't have daily pain. I am amazed at how you can gracefully and bravely continue day to day. Thank you for acknowledging us Babes that have other horrible and disabling conditions.

    I look forward to your future posts. You are one of my favorite blogs to visit.


  3. thank you Mo and Robbie! The encouragment keeps me going .. and it is so true that honesty is a very powerful tool!