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What It Feels Like When I'm Combating Bad Pain Days

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Waking up is the first, but also the hardest part of the steps. It is really hard. All I want to do is stay in this neutral zone of pain and fatigue. The only reason I’d consider getting up when I hit those bad pain levels is because of my medications or something urgent.

It isn’t from laziness, selfishness, or even a lack of caring – it is simply from the fear of making what I already feel, worse; the heavy fatigue, and the sharp, burning pain in my body. The thing that stops me from being me, and doing the things I want to do, and have to do. It stops me in my tracks. Getting up, taking medications, making myself eat and get dressed – the level of difficulty is barely different from one task to the other. They are all to some degree, a struggle.

Then there’s the guilt. The guilt I’d try to tell myself I don’t need to feel, “It’s not your fault you have a chronic disorder with daily pain.” Who’d even ask for this in their life? These mini pep talks work, but sometimes when you see your family wanting to be with you or needing you, or a responsibility  you have no choice but to put off because you can hardly think…It feels unfair. These are the moments that bring that guilt and self-anger, even if I can’t really control my own body.

It’s these hardships that motivate me to get up. It’s those thoughts of, “Do I want to stay in pain?” No. I don’t. No want really wants that. So I think that maybe getting up will lower it, maybe it won’t. But laying here might also worsen it or make it better. Yet, I know for certain that skipping things that I need isn’t just a risk to my health, but it is in its own form, a self-harm.

Self-care isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. We all need it, and some days it’s harder to do than others.

That’s the thing about pain days – they remind us that we aren’t in perfect bodies. But this fact will never stop me from trying to push through and try anyway.

We can do that. We can try. We have to, everyday. Either we want to, or those hard days when we just don’t – we do it because we have to, and we really want to just be well. So we push.

Even if all we can do is lower the pain, and we have to rest to keep it there and that’s it. We aren’t bad for that.

We can only eat a bit and rest and those were the best accomplishments. It’s fine – we did it, even on our own.

We sit up, even stand or walk for a few minutes and then only rest.

The point is, these small battles won are added to the list for our war on our own pain and the symptoms remind us that we are our all our own soldiers – invisible scars, hard earned victories and all.

Getty Image by utkamandarinka

Originally published: March 17, 2018
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