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Helpful Things to Keep in Mind After a Chronic Pain Diagnosis

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Have you recently been diagnosed with chronic pain or know someone who has?

You aren’t alone.

Do you feel like you are alone, or that you are making everything up in your head?

You aren’t alone.

Do you feel judged when you park in a disabled parking space, even if you “look healthy?”

You aren’t alone.

Bottom line: you aren’t alone in your struggles, and you never will be. Millions of Americans are diagnosed with chronic pain every year. It can be a dark place when you don’t know what is wrong with you, and it is completely OK to feel that way, but you shouldn’t have to.

I am sorry you, or someone you know, was recently diagnosed. It is not a good place to be in. It is a whole new world of doctors, treatments, medicines, side-eye glances and trial and error.

I want you to know that you will get through it and it will become your new normal. It can be uncomfortable when people ask you seemingly normal, everyday questions, but you don’t know the answers because life is on hold.

You might get looks from people who see you on the street coming out of a disabled parking space, you might get pity looks when people hear your story or you might even get sighs of frustration when you cancel plans again. Just know it’s them, not you.

You are a warrior, and every day that you continue to fight just proves how strong you are. We are stronger than the healthier people who judge others. You might be told “at least you have your health” when you feel like life is falling apart. The truth is we don’t have our health, and that’s OK. It’s important to try and accept it and learn to deal with it. It’s a lot easier said than done, but it is the only way to have as much quality of life as possible.

I remember feeling a sigh of relief when I was first diagnosed because it proved it wasn’t in my head. That feeling of relief soon turned to anger and sadness for the life I was “supposed” to have. It was very up and down, especially in the beginning, but I made a life I can enjoy and feel proud of despite my circumstances, and you will too.

Life is short: one day you wake up healthy, and the next your life has forever changed. Just continue to fight for yourself, fight the urge to succumb to others’ negativity and just fight to be you.

Follow this journey on Be Forever Strong.

Getty image via Rawpixel.

Originally published: October 30, 2019
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