No, Being 'Used to' My Fibromyalgia Pain Doesn't Make It Easier

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Well, it might to those of us with chronic illnesses at least. I’m thinking many of you will have also had someone think or say you “should be used to it by now” or tell you “yes, but you’re always hurting,” as though that means their flu or sprain is somehow more important and painful because hurting is not their baseline like it is ours. Or that we should be able to get past it simply because it’s there all the time.

Recently I had a conversation of that nature and I didn’t know whether to laugh or be angry (even though there was no offense intended). Yes, I’m always in pain. Lots of it, actually. But that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to deal with as the years pass by. In fact, I suggest that it can be even worse. Acute pain or injury is horrible and I have huge sympathy for anyone experiencing one of these things. However, acute pain (mostly) comes with the knowledge that you will heal. Fibromyalgia pain for me and many others is there every second of every day, without any real hope of being cured. I’m not talking about a little ache or twinge either — it’s the kind of pain that could make me cry at any given moment. It’s relentless and it’s exhausting.

So, people who assume it should be easier to cope with my pain by now because I’ve had it for as long as I can remember — it’s not. Imagine waking up every day knowing that you had to live another day with the same pain and difficulties as yesterday, only today you are a little bit more exhausted. The pain and fatigue just keep piling up until eventually, I usually end up with a bad injury, sprain, or pulled muscle. Then it will start all over again the next day and I’ll have a new source of pain to try to manage as well.

As I said, I have nothing but sympathy, empathy and compassion for anyone in pain, acute or chronic. All I ask is that you don’t forget about the daily fight a fibro patient faces. Don’t minimize their struggle just because it’s always there.

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to being in pain, even though it’s forever present. So instead, I try to use it for something positive. Like sharing my experience so it may help someone else.

If you’ve read this far because you have a loved one with fibromyalgia, you’ve already helped them by caring enough to do so.

If you’ve read this far because you have fibro yourself, I understand how hard it is and you are not alone.

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

Thinkstock photo by Favor_of_God

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

Related to Fibromyalgia

woman playing video games on her computer

My Fears About Playing Video Games With Fibromyalgia

I have been playing video games since I was 6 years old, when I first received a Super Nintendo Entertainment System from my then mother’s partner. I played with this system more than I did with other children, as many other people with Asperger’s syndrome can probably relate to (although I wasn’t diagnosed until university!). As [...]
close up of woman crying

I Am So Sick of Being Sick

Having a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia really does take its toll on you, especially when you have a ton of other stuff along with it like me. It waxes and wanes but it never goes away, at least it doesn’t for me. Right now I must say it’s as bad as it has ever been [...]

What I Realized About Fibromyalgia From Finally Looking at Pictures of Myself

I have a chronic condition. Well actually, I have several, but the one that is most obvious to other people is my physical illness – and that’s because I now use a stick when I am able to help me to walk. But I also have some serious mental health issues which are maybe not [...]
'waving through a window' from dear evan hansen

The Power of Music on Tough Days With Illness

For this past week or even two weeks, my symptoms have been flaring. After being in a flare for a bit, it gets harder to see the light at the end of the tunnel. At least for me, I have trouble and I will have the tendency to internalize my struggle, causing me to seem [...]