The Mighty Logo

How Grief Can Manifest When You Have Chronic Pain

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

For the longest time, I always thought you only grieve someone who has passed away, but in reality, there are so many reasons people grieve. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and there is no time limit on how long you can grieve.

Two months after I graduated college, my life changed forever and at first, I was in denial. Sometimes, to this day, I still am. I couldn’t get a grip on what was going on around me. It was a slow turn of events from living my life with moderate pain to hardly being able to move within months.

I went from a happy-go-lucky girl to a depressed and angry mess. I felt such an overwhelming amount of guilt for what I was putting my family and friends through. It just had me spinning out of control. You tend to lose your mind spending most of your days in the house and going from doctor to doctor, test to test.

It would get frustrating when people would tell me, “You look fine,” or give their opinions on what I should be doing. They all meant well, but it frustrated me because most of them didn’t know what I went through on a day-to-day basis. I would get angry and wonder why was this happening to me. What have I done wrong? I was the angriest when I had doctors, who were supposed to be helping me, tell me it was in my head and I should move on. I wanted to yell, “How about you put on my pain suit for a week, because most people wouldn’t last a day.”

I would constantly feel like I was a burden to everyone and wished I could disappear because it would maybe be easier. The guilt would eat away at me, and even though logically I knew none of this was my fault, I still just couldn’t shake the feeling. I would start to go into a depression and cry constantly. Everyone and everything annoyed me.

But then, one of the best things happened to me…

I started to see a therapist. Finally, I was able to get stuff out that I hadn’t realized still bothered me. I would start to feel OK and think I was finally able to accept what was going on with me, but then I would go through a rough patch with new symptoms and I would be in a downward spiral.

Overall, I am learning to live with my condition and I know there are going to be ups and downs as new symptoms develop. I may not always know when something is going to hit, but I will continue to be forever strong.

This story originally appeared on Alexa Randolph

Originally published: April 26, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home