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To My Friends Who Show Kindness and Mindfulness About My Chronic Pain

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When we live with chronic pain, we often learn to fake through it. We put on a smile or take on the resting pain face. Very few know the actual pain we are in, as they do not see us beyond our masks. Even during painful flares, the mask might not come off because there is always the reality of being judged or even shamed.

But then suddenly out of the blue, I get a message/an email/a phone call from someone who thought of me as they read about something or practiced a technique that worked for chronic pain. What makes this message special to me is there is no expectation or judgment behind their suggestion — only their wish for a slight possibility I might get better. And if I am skeptical or scared to try it, they don’t feel bad. They were merely passing on this information and understand that every person is different and that the technique or treatment might not work for me, but they just wanted to let me know.

In a world of expectations and judgments, when one is made to feel guilty or even ashamed for one’s condition, these people are rare, and I am glad to have the privilege of being your friend.

Thank you my friend(s) for your kindness and most importantly, your mindfulness, as that is what keeps me energized and helps me move on from the hurtful comments and judgments I receive from so many around me. Your words and actions might not have seemed big to you, but they made all the difference to me —they gave me more hope.

Thank you for caring!

Follow this journey on Expect the Unexpected.

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Image via Thinkstock

Originally published: December 28, 2016
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