“When one is in very great pain and fear, it is extremely difficult to pray coherently, and I could only raise my mind in anguish to God and ask for strength to hold on.” – Sheila Cassidy
September is Pain Awareness Month, and although I am only indirectly affected, I feel compelled to share a few thoughts and experiences on chronic pain.
More than 100 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain, day and day out; some of them suffer silently. Today, we will take a look at the world from a different point of view.
Whether you are watching a loved one suffer, are suffering from acute pain, or chronic migraines, please know and never forget:
You are not alone
words with my mother,
My bully waits every day for me to wake.
Every day I wake with strategies to stand up to my bully. No matter how hard my bully hits and punches me I stand and prove that I will not break. I smile in my bully’s face every time I walk by knowing there will be a punch. Although I bend with the force, I am determined to have my day…somehow. After all I do have that right.
Today my bully got to me before I could use one of my faithful strategies. My bully cornered me and beat me so bad that I broke. I fell and all I could do was cry and pray that the beating would stop.
I wanted to cry out for someone to help me….but who could help….what could they do? I cried out but still no one heard. I had to take the beating….the bully cornered me.
This bully is so powerful that it can paralyze with one blow and make you question for a moment whether any human can find a reason to live if they must spend their days running from this beast….knowing there will be days when it WILL corner you….WILL win and WILL paralyze with a force that can only be measured by the number of tears it takes to cause human drought if that is at all possible.
Who can help you fight an invisible bully……an invisible beast? The only thing that brings a presence to my bully is it’s name. “PAIN”
Well it won today. My bully, named “Pain” cornered me. Only today I told it on my bully.
Telling won’t make my bully go away but at least I let it out.
No….no one will see my bully and no…..no one see’s my bully punching and beating me up and no….no one “Ever” see’s the invisible bruises left by my bully. Yes they do see me living in a world they can’t quite understand.
My diagnosis(s) appear to be just that….BULLIES.
In my mind they are bullies because they live with me and I spend my days trying to control them so they don’t get the best of me. Some days they corner me and remind me that they have the ability to take control so my daily fight is to survive the assaults.
Not all diagnosis are bullies. On average most people can live a life of productivity and not be bullied by their diagnosis. What a blessing! My struggle to do the things that most people take for granted is unusual because I look like I should be able to conquer the world.
My heart beats to a different tune than the average person…..it beats to the tune of understanding how to make my life work for me when I am faced with diagnosis(s) that have the power to take away my independence if I give up.
For those of us who live with invisible illnesses….don’t give up.
It is not so important that people don’t believe you. What’s more important is that you believe in yourself.
It is not so important that you can’t please others. What’s more important is that you are pleased with yourself for the daily accomplishments in YOUR world.
It is not so important that others may be disappointed when your abilities at times are limited to make them happy. What is important is that you recognize your abilities today and that YOU can accept today the way it is.
It is not so important that you don’t have an explanation for “why.” What is important is that the answer is inside you and there is no need for words today…your body knows why…that’s enough.
Do what you can when you feel like you can be what you want whenever you are able to give what you can when you have what it takes to do what you need to do to get what you need to be your best when your body says so. Then end.
All my love and prayers are with all who deal with bullies!
Thank you for listening!
A brief Interview with actress Blake B-A:
What is your condition?
Probable Rheumatoid Arthritis
Misconception about your condition?
That it’s the same as “regular” (osteoarthritis) and is the same as or comparable to having “bad knees”. Also that its only part about it is pain.
How do you view yourself vs what people (may) see when they look at you?
Hmm. Well I think people see me in, perhaps a variety of ways, but for the ones who don’t really know me…they would probably be surprised that I’m as sensitive a person as I am. Most people look at the way they see me now and assume that I’ve never been through any real hardships or things of that nature in my life; that I’ve never really struggled with any issues and am always very confident. Not the case.
I view myself as a very kind person, but not really very “nice”. And I think that, depending on the situation or circumstances under which the person knows me, they may think I am very stern and serious, and intense. Very orderly. I am intense, but there is a lot more to me than the general intense face that the general world sees of me. As an actress, lots of times, casting directors are surprised to find that I’m actually really funny and lively, because at first look, I don’t seem to most as being funny; I strike them as intense.
What do you tell yourself when the pain is at its worst?
I remind myself that I’ve been through hell and back. I can make it though this.
What do you need more of from your loved ones?
Hmm. I need more understanding, I think. Of my condition and that, even though it affects them, that effect is INdirect, whereas, for me, it very DIRECTLY affects me and my life, and I need them (some more than others) to understand that I need to deal with it as best helps me. Because it is such an “unfortunate” disease, some of them are living in denial that I have it and are unwilling to venture with me to the reality of what is. So it can get really quite tiring and upsetting. So I would say ‘more understanding’. And probably a good bit of patience when I’m slow and/or plain irritable at the things I can’t do that day or just being in pain and having fevers and all other such nonsense.
What could you use a bit less of from your loved ones?
A bit less coddling. Don’t ask me on eggshells how I am ALL THE TIME. I’ll let ya know when I let you know. Give me some room to breathe. haha
When you think of your frustration, what you’ve missed out on, what you simply cannot even consider doing: what would you say to the pain if for a moment your pain could “hear you out?”
“Don’t be shitty.”
What is something you have learned from experiencing what you experience?
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. If you let it.
Capabilities once had
by Donesha Thompson
Seeping thru the cracks of the city streets and sewers are the capabilities once had. Reaching for them as the mind says to let them disintegrate is written all over subway walls. There is no turning back from this. Wise ones have mentioned that if lives were lived differently this would not have occurred. Easier said than done. This is destiny… everyone experiences bodily let downs at some point. The body is a liar and it destroys all sense of livelihood when it’s tired. This is understandable, but why the discomfort. Creeping up are shadows of resentment toward everyday life and interactions, so media clouds the brain. Just sit here and let it shower the idealistic views of what is being missed out on from the outside world. Because this chronic pain prohibits capabilities once had.
Beautiful quotes from two amazing websites:
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus