When My Friend Didn't Understand the Limitations of My Chronic Pain


Walking from the car to a building, I quickly noted that it was a long walk to the door. Unable to hide her incredulous shock, a close friend of mine stated, “It’s not that far, Cindy.”

It really wasn’t very far…if you are not disabled! All the handicapped spots were taken, and my hubby offered to drop me off at the door, but I did not want to be singled out like that. I should have accepted the offer. Instead, I chose to keep looking at my feet just focusing on one painful step and then the next one.

We were headed to something fun, but I was dreading it. I have been in so much pain this past week and a half. Just over the top pain that it hurts to breathe. But I would have been in pain no matter what, so I decided to go anyway. It was just one of those times that you know that you are going to pay for it, but you do it anyway. I needed to get out of the house to clear my head and be around other people, so I pushed myself to go.

I was so hurt by the statement. I was humiliated. I cringed at the truth of what they said. The statement taunted me that I had a hard time walking such a short distance. The statement made me very mad at my body for letting me down.

I could have said something in my defense and enlightened her, but I didn’t. I just didn’t have the mental energy because the pain always depletes it. Thankfully, my brain did work enough, and I remembered quickly what mama always said: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. I am hoping that the awkward silence was enough to make a loud statement. I doubt it did though.

I do not want to be internalizing this, so I want to post it and let it go. I’ve always had anxiety, but the chronic pain has increased it because of so many factors that are out of my control every day because of the pain.

As I type this, the doubts about myself are starting to kick in. I have only begun to understand my anxiety after a year and a half working with my psychologist. But situations like these set off the emotions. I just wish I could get people to understand what having chronic pain is really like. They say they know how we feel, but they don’t. They never will, unless they experience it for themselves. Even the ones closest to you.

The thought process has been laborious, but I am trying to choose to be positive. That’s why I called my blog “Chronic Pain With a Higher Perception,” because I’m deciding to change my perception. I can’t change others, but I can improve myself. This is the best thing I can do for my health.

I am going to find some other positive blogs to help my resolve, and I will pray that the person will never experience pain as I have.

How would have you handled this situation? Has anything like this happened to you, and how did you remain positive?

Follow this journey on Chronic Pain With a Higher Perspective.

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