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Because of Chronic Pain, My Social Life Is on Social Media


The pain of trigeminal neuralgia really is horrendous: severe facial pain that stabs, burns and aches.

I have constant pain in the right side of my face. Sometimes it’s on both sides. At times it can be a low level, background type pain, but other times it is very high level. Most days, it’s somewhere in the middle.

But living with trigeminal neuralgia (or any other chronic pain) isn’t just about living with pain.

It’s also about living with stress, fear, anxiety and depression. It’s tiring. Draining. Work suffers. Relationships can be ruined. Families are affected. Friends sometimes disappear. Social life is often non-existent.

People can become very lonely and isolated – both physically and emotionally. It’s so important to reach out for help if that happens.

Most people are probably part of online support groups for their condition. Support from others who are in the same situation, with the same illness means so much. When someone says, “I get it, you don’t need to explain,” it’s almost as though a huge weight has been lifted. It helps them get through the day, knowing there are people who understand what they’re dealing with.

I feel so fortunate to be living in this century with our technology. I hardly go out. My social life is on social media. My friends live inside my laptop. That probably sounds sad to many people, but I don’t mind. Actually, it’s quite nice to not have to worry about how you look or what you are wearing when you “meet” your friends.

I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like had I been born in another age. Had I been living with trigeminal neuralgia, scoliosis and my other  problems, where would I have been? What kind of mess might I have been? I don’t dwell on that thought for too long though. I’m just grateful that it is 2018.