The Grief I Feel After Recovering From My Chronic Pain

I had chronic pain for well over three years. It made me disabled, depressed and took away most of my young adult life. That’s right, no parties, no job, no social life. However, after a recent surgery it’s now gone (at least temporarily) and my depression and anxiety have never been worse.

It should have gotten better though, right? Wrong.


I’m grieving. I’m grieving the safety blanket it offered me. It offered me sanction from society and myself. It offered me an excuse for everything, it offered me a chance to hide.

Now that it’s gone, I’m left with the “what now?” What am I going to do with my life? What do normal people do? How does living a normal life without pain or fear work? All these decisions I never thought I would have, have now appeared all at once. Darling, it’s normal to feel like this.

Here is what I wish someone had told me about living after chronic pain.

1. It’s OK to take your time.

2. You don’t have to decide what you are going to do with your life all at once.

3. Breathe.

4. It’s normal to be scared.

5. Baby steps are key.

6. Let go of your label. You are not on that path anymore.

7. It’s OK to love yourself.

8. Don’t feel guilty. You are a survivor.

It takes time as well as patience to learn to function again. Appreciate your second chance at life to do anything you want in the world without being held back. Most importantly, live.

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

Thinkstock photo via Daoduangnan.

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

Related to Chronic Pain

Brunette woman walking the forest road

The Invisibility of My Chronic Pain

“Well, Taylor, all your tests came back normal. You are good to go.” These words I have heard over and over again. If I’m so “normal,” why am I constantly in pain? Why do I have to move around on the hour at night so my joints don’t hurt as much in the morning? Why [...]

Things People With Chronic Pain Wish Others Would Stop Saying

People with chronic pain shared the things people shouldn’t say to them, and what they should say instead. if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_eXVmskgg_F962XJnx_div').setup( {"playlist":"https:\/\/\/feeds\/eXVmskgg.json","ph":2} ); Read the full version of 19 Things People With Chronic Pain Wish Others Would Stop Saying. Read the full transcript: Things People With Chronic Pain Wish Others Would Stop Saying “People say, ‘Wait [...]
woman's hand under water with a tattoo on her wrist that says 'breathe'

When Life's Demands Wear on You Until Pain Says 'Enough'

Here’s the thing about chronic pain. It doesn’t go away. So you get used to pushing yourself, you get the “I’m doing great!” mask that rarely slips and you get things done. Normal things, errands, dishes, laundry, intermittent caregiving, work, changing the sheets, having a root canal, thinking about a business plan or two; life. [...]
woman walking down a path in a foggy forest

Wading Through the Brain Fog of Chronic Pain and Depression

Hello to you, I hope you’re doing well. If you’re reading this to learn about brain fog then great, thank you! If you’re reading this because you also have brain fog, I hope this post will somehow assure you that you’re not alone. I was not supposed to be writing about brain fog today. I [...]