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It's Not OK to Compare My Pain to Someone Who Has It 'Worse'


As hard as it is to believe, I am actually in chronic and debilitating pain despite my youth, but I’m not a hypochondriac, drug seeker or attention seeking. Pain is relative, whether it be physically or psychologically — which means that every pain that can be humanly experienced is felt differently by any individual. This means it is literally impossible to compare the pain that is felt between two people.

So, why is it OK to compare my pain to someone who is in a worse position than I?

Yes, of course when you compare my pain, illnesses and disabilities to someone in an extremely awful position in their life to what I face every single day (and for the rest of my life, might I add) it almost makes my situation seem diluted. But it’s not diluted. This is my life, always has been and always will be.

My age and illnesses should never define the quality of medical treatment that I receive, but it does.

Imagine that you had just broken your leg and you urgently needed medical attention you finally manage to get to the hospital, wait hours to be seen and when you are finally seen, you are told that nothing can be done for you and you just need to rest.

You can’t imagine that? Well, that’s because it’d never happen.

I am constantly dealing with the treatment and pain of my dislocated joints on my own. This is because the collagen in my body is faulty, which essentially means that the thing that holds your insides together, makes your skin firm, keeps your joints in position… doesn’t work for me. There’s no cure. So, every time I go to see a doctor when I dislocate or bruise a bone/joint, I am sent on my way because there is nothing anybody can do for me. Nobody knows about my illness, so nobody seems interested in helping me.

When I say I am in excruciating pain, please trust my judgment. I am not trying to make your life any more difficult than it already is, and I am definitely not looking for a competition. Life can be tiring and painful for everybody — even if they are not affected by a chronic illness or disability. Your pain is still valid, your pain can still be unbearable, your pain is yours.

You are valid and you deserve to be happy. I do, too.

So please stop comparing my pain and exhaustion to your tiredness.

We are all tired. I’m tired, too.

Please support me as I am trying to navigate myself through my chronic illnesses and get into the career that I have always wanted and lead the life I deserve. And to others living with chronic illness, please, never give up on yourself.