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The Grief I Feel After Recovering From My Chronic Pain

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I had chronic pain for well over three years. It made me disabled, depressed and took away most of my young adult life. That’s right, no parties, no job, no social life. However, after a recent surgery it’s now gone (at least temporarily) and my depression and anxiety have never been worse.

It should have gotten better though, right? Wrong.


I’m grieving. I’m grieving the safety blanket it offered me. It offered me sanction from society and myself. It offered me an excuse for everything, it offered me a chance to hide.

Now that it’s gone, I’m left with the “what now?” What am I going to do with my life? What do normal people do? How does living a normal life without pain or fear work? All these decisions I never thought I would have, have now appeared all at once. Darling, it’s normal to feel like this.

Here is what I wish someone had told me about living after chronic pain.

1. It’s OK to take your time.

2. You don’t have to decide what you are going to do with your life all at once.

3. Breathe.

4. It’s normal to be scared.

5. Baby steps are key.

6. Let go of your label. You are not on that path anymore.

7. It’s OK to love yourself.

8. Don’t feel guilty. You are a survivor.

It takes time as well as patience to learn to function again. Appreciate your second chance at life to do anything you want in the world without being held back. Most importantly, live.

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Thinkstock photo via Daoduangnan.

Originally published: July 11, 2017
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