Pain Awareness Month Part II

“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation.”
―    Paulo Coelho,    By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

More people than we realize are affected by chronic pain and sadly, many  of these people are unfairly judged.

Can you imagine hurting, but because the outside does not reflect the pain felt inside, people assume there is nothing wrong with you? That it’s all in your head? That it’s not that serious? Today, in interviews with author Janiera Eldridge and Kristen, we learn a lot about the importance of listening and empathizing with open hearts.

What is your condition?

Janiera: My condition is Fibromyalgia. It is where the pain receptors in the brain don’t work properly and send out false pain signals. This keeps the person who has it in constant pain, often triggers Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(which I also have) and some other health problems.

How do you view yourself vs what people (may) see when they look at you?

Janiera: I think what frustrates a lot of people is that no one can see the Fibromyalgia in you. Some morning you may look tired because insomnia is another symptom, but other than that, it’s hard to see. People look at me and see healthy, bright young woman. However, inside I see myself as tired young woman, always in pain, trying to push forward. Some days it really messes with my emotions.

Misconception about your condition?

Janiera: The biggest one is that it’s all in your head. God I hate that one! Modern science has helped bring to the light that it is REAL and it is NOT in people’s heads.

What do you tell yourself when the pain is at its worst?

Janiera: Rest (since I’m a work-a-holic it is hard)it will help to make the pain go away. It can’t last forever.

What do you need more of from your loved ones?

Janiera: I have the best family. They understand completely and never judge me unlike the rest of the world. I’m so blessed to have them.

What could you use a bit less of from your loved ones?

Janiera: Nothing, they’re amazing.

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?”

Janiera: I’d tell it to leave me the hell alone, you mean nothing in my life, so why do you follow me?

Janiera Eldridge is the author of the urban fantasy Soul Sisters available on Amazon (

Connect with her on her blog Books & Beauty (

What is your condition?

Kristen: I have a condition called Interstitial Cystitis (IC), which is chronic inflammation of the bladder wall.  The easiest way for me to describe IC to someone who has never heard of it, is it feels like you have a really bad UTI (urinary tract infection) but you don’t actually have an infection present.  Symptoms vary from patient to patient, but I myself deal with a lot of frequency and urgency issues, a burning sensation before, during, and after urination, pelvic pain, and pain in both kidneys.

Misconception about your condition?

Kristen: I get comments like, “Well thank goodness it’s nothing serious”, or “Well can’t they just give you something for that?” I really don’t think people understand just how painful and intense IC symptoms can be and that it is a serious condition that has a major impact on your entire life. I know fellow IC patients who haven’t been able to work because of their condition, and even marriages that have broken up because of the impact of IC on the relationship.

How do you view yourself vs what people (may) see when they look at you?

Kristen: I’m sure a lot of people would view me as healthy and strong, but I typically don’t feel that way on the inside.

What do you tell yourself when the pain is at its worst?

Kristen: I think about my 5 kids and my husband who love me and need me and I tell myself I have no choice but to be strong for them and to just get through the pain.  It’s not always easy.  I’ve had some really rough days where I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even talk because the pain was so intense.

What do you need more of from your loved ones?

Kristen: Some days I need for them to be a little more understanding if i’m grumpy or snappy because of the pain and that they shouldn’t take it personally.

What could you use a bit less of from your loved ones?

Kristen: My husband likes to get on my case about not drinking enough water, but drinking water can be tricky for some IC patients.  If I drink too much water, it can trigger a really bad flare, and I also deal with a lot of kidney pain (some IC patients do, some don’t) so drinking a lot of liquids can be painful.

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?”

Kristen: I would love to tell my pain that i’ve suffered enough and it’s time to leave my body and it’s not welcome to return.

At First, but Now

by Donesha T

At first, it was a dew drop that hit only the outer garments of my life
At first, I was able to shake it off and be done with it
At first, it did not affect the strong thread holding everything together
At first, it did not dishevel the very blanket that comforts me
But now, I am disoriented within my own land
But now, I can’t count the number of times I am left wondering why
But now, the rug has been yanked from underneath my feet, and I’m falling in slow motion
But now, the pain is so severe, I have no answers, and my life is no longer my own
Please visit for Pain Awareness Part I
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
―    Mother Teresa
“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
―    Dietrich Bonhoeffer,    The Cost of Discipleship
“It’s not given to people to judge what’s right or wrong. People have eternally been mistaken and will be mistaken, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong.”
―    Leo Tolstoy,    War and Peace
“I don’t judge people.
It blurs out the center of my attention,
my focus,
―    Toba Beta,    Betelgeuse Incident
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you[Matthew 7:1-2]”
quotes from
images from stock.xchng
  1. My mom has fibromyalgia. I know what a pain it can be. I hope that they can find a way to cure it or make it easier on people. She has tried a lot of different things to help. . . I’m not sure any of the things have helped. Prayers for all of you that your pain will be lessened.

  2. Rosey said:

    I have wondered from time to time what exactly Fibromyalgia is, and now I have a much better understanding of it. Thank you!

  3. Rhonda, it’s wonderful that you are doing this interviews. It is difficult for people sometimes to realise how much pain folks are in, especially when they look strong and healthy. Doing these interviews gives people a bit of an insight, obviously, if we have never been in chronic pain for a period of time, wecan’t possibly understand what it is like. I know I do worry about my pain coming back, especially with winter around the corner, this causes it to flare up. Great post.

    • Thank you so much. I could not have put into words, what we wanted to share — a bit of insight.

      I hope you don’t have to go through it, again. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Looking over your shoulder for fear of a flare up must be an awful feeling; I hope you remain pain free. Thanks, again.

      • Thank you so much – it means a lot.

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