When Pain Is the Only Thing Certain in Your Life

I have been thinking a lot lately, perhaps a little too much – but I can’t help it. I am left wondering each and every day just what it is really like to experience a life that isn’t plagued by chronic pain or illnesses.

What is it like to not have to pick between the things you know will inevitably make you end up in bed for three days? Or the feeling of a fulfillment after a hard day at work, followed by a restful sleep?

The future for me and my health is widely unknown, which scares me more than I would care to admit. The only thing certain for me is pain; excruciating and debilitating pain. I turn 19 in two months, but I already feel half a century older than everybody else my age because I have been chronically ill for over half of my life.

I am not resentful for those who will never experience the extreme pain and fatigue that having multiple chronic illnesses ever so kindly gifts to you; however, I am awfully jealous. It makes me truly sad to know that I neither will nor can never grow out of this pain; nor will I never “get better.”

But I refuse to let the worst parts of me define the best parts of my being. I will continue to fight against my illnesses fight for not only my life, but my happiness and my dreams too. If I had one wish that would be indefinitely granted, I would never wish to be pain-free… I would wish for more awareness.

Nobody should ever have to go through life where every doctor has told them that their pain is “all in their head,” nor should it take half our lives to get a diagnosis to prove our pain is not an illusion created by our own minds. We should never feel so alone and isolated in our pain that we are forced into being silent. We deserve to create awareness for our own illnesses. We do not have to put on a “brave face” for the sake of someone else.

Although our illnesses are invisible – we will be heard. If we continue to share our stories and illnesses, we will have to be listened to.

Chronic illness is the hardest lesson to learn, but is the best teacher I have ever had. I am grateful to my illnesses for teaching me more about myself than I ever thought was possible, even though they were the hardest lessons I have ever had to learn.

I am exhausted and I am in pain, but I have learned that it’s OK to be frustrated with my body. But it is never OK to compare yourself to another person, especially a healthy person. You may never be healthy, but you are doing your best to continue to live as comfortable as possible with chronic illnesses. Sometimes that is an impossible task but you are doing amazingly well and I believe you can continue to do so.

No amount of pain ever has to define you. Although pain can limit you and prevent you from doing things in life, only we get to decide if we are defined by just our illnesses alone.

And no matter what, you are a fighter.

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