It’s hard to believe something you can’t see. Pain isn’t visible, but it’s very real. Many people spend their lives being questioned by doctors, bosses, friends, family members and sometimes not believed by them.
Many of us suffer in complete silence because of the stigma. We buck up, put on a good face, and fake it — pushing through pain, soul-crushing fatigue, dizzying nausea and ever-shifting physical limitations.
Chronic pain sufferers aren’t being dramatic. Their pain and discomfort is really as bad as we say it is. In fact, it is probably more so, as we often downplay just how bad it is, for fear of others thinking we are just seeking attention or we simply don’t want to worry you. I know I downplay my pain around my children and my parents, because I don’t want them to worry about me. The only one who gets the full truth is my husband.
The pain and discomfort is indescribable, and is probably unlike anything you’ve ever felt, if you do not have fibromyalgia or other chronic disorders. I can be fine one minute, and the very next be in so much pain that I almost pass out. No two days are the same so planning in advance is difficult because I don’t know how I will feel from one day to the next.
If it’s someone you know or love with the illness, believe them and support them any way you can. It’s the best thing you can do for them.
Whether you have family or friend who’s a good listener or whether you opt to speak with a therapist, it’s important to have someone to talk to.