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I Have Chronic Pain, and Today, I Am Not OK

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As much as I would love to tell you that I am a strong, hopeful and logical spoonie, there are days when that is a complete lie. Days like today. Those of you in this fight with me understand. We cannot be pillars of strength and light every single day. We are only human and therefore, we need other humans. Today, I need to write and I need to know I am not alone in my struggle.

While scheduling another round of doctor appointments, I glanced at the weeks ahead on my calendar. I have three or more appointments per week, every week, until the second week of January. I work full-time, to the best of my abilities, and have basically given up my social life in an act of self-preservation. Suddenly, the realization of how much time I spend trying to maintain my body and health came crashing over me like a tidal wave. I broke down in tears right at my desk. I spent my lunch hour quietly crying to myself, just letting the tears fall in hopes they would cleanse me of the immense burden I feel. The truth is, I am not always the logical and hopeful person you see on social media, at work or even in my writing. Sometimes, I am unabashedly human in my sorrows and grief.

Today, I planned on writing about how I deal with the holidays being chronically ill, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I am overwhelmed with emotion today. I am sick. I am tired. And, sometimes it makes me sad. I feel that people shy away from admitting their illness or diagnosis makes them sad. They feel it will bring them under scrutiny and potentially to another diagnosis of depression, anxiety or the like. They are scared people will urge them to seek professional help and they will be disappointed to see we are not always a pillar of strength. While I cannot say you don’t have depression or do not need to speak to someone, I can say that feeling this way, sometimes, is completely normal.

I am tired of hiding it with a fake smile and “I’m OK.” Even the strongest pillar will eventually crack, showing signs of wear and tear over its lifetime of supporting something. The pillar is not useless. It can still perform its job and is of value. It just needs a little extra attention and repair. Today, I am admitting my pillar has cracked a little. I need some TLC and time to repair. Today, I won’t lie to you and say I am OK, because I am not. Today, I will rest a little more and ask to share my load. And that is completely fine.

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Thinkstock photo via berdsigns.

Originally published: November 15, 2017
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