Chronic Pain: My Lifelong Companion

Each morning is filled with hope and promise, a clean slate! That is what I have heard. That is not my reality. My moment of wakefulness is that precise moment my pain medication gives up and my body wins. Each morning for me begins with the shock of a severe wave of pain. It slices through my peaceful dreams and drags me into the agony of my reality.

Once I am orientated to this harsh, unforgiving place, I take my morning meds and wait. Wait for them to ease the pain and steal pieces of my brain. This, you see, is the only way I can get out of bed, stand and participate in life.


You see, my job is taking care of others. But that isn’t important. What is important is I am gainfully employed. I work a full 40 hours a week, sometimes more. So many of us with chronic illness do. My fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, migraine, restless leg syndrome, history of TIA and seizure have isolated me. These are my demons. I have had these companions since childhood.

I missed my son’s wedding because I couldn’t travel three hours to where it was. I wanted to, but my demons had other plans. I have lost countless friends because I had to hibernate to make my companions leave me alone. I lost a job I had had for 11 years because of the battle inside me between my meds and my lifelong “friends.”

The battle is real. As a child I watched the world around me and wondered why the other kids liked to run. Running = pain; why would anyone want that? Now I’m in my late 40s. These demons have grown up too, and I understand. I was singled out. What the “normal” world can’t grasp is we did not ask for this. We are not “drug-seekers” or “disposable” members of society. We deserve a life too.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via jujustr.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Pain

woman blow drying her hair

6 Activities People Might Not Know Are Affected by Chronic Pain

Anyone else with the same/similar condition knows that each day is different, but at the moment I am struggling quite a bit. The main issue I have is a lack of knowledge regarding what I can and can’t do. This isn’t just by friends and family but also myself. I do not know what my [...]
rows inside the cabin of an airplane

Why I'm No Longer Waiting to Board Until After the Passengers in Wheelchairs

So right now, I’m on vacation in Las Vegas. I know, lights, action, celebs… (Seriously, James Woods and that guy from “Coach” are here!) But this isn’t about here. It’s about getting here. You see, at this point in life, I’ve sustained enough damage from my chronic illness and fractured vertebrae from medication side effects [...]
dr. eva orsmond in documentary 'medication nation'

My Response to 'Medication Nation' as a Woman With Chronic Pain

Before sitting down to write this, I was watching Dr. Eva Orsmond’s documentary “Medication Nation” on Ireland’s National Broadcasting station, RTE One. I sat on my sofa with a heat wrap around my neck, debating whether or not I’ll get one for my lower back. I’m in pain. I’m moving around as needed, as I [...]
watercolor of a woman with pink roses behind her

How Chronic Pain Has Taught Me the True Value of Health

I am 19 years old and I am a student in my second year studying at university. I also live with chronic pain. When I started out with my degree, I was convinced I wanted to be a doctor – I wanted to improve people’s lives! I was so optimistic and excited but then it [...]