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5 Quotes I Turn to on Bad Days With Chronic Pain

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Living with chronic pain means dealing with not only pain, but uncertainty, discomfort, confusion and so many more complex feelings that manifest when dealing with your situation.

Uncertainty rises when you try and plan out your week but are unable to know whether or not the pain will keep you from actually getting all the things on your to-do list done. Or maybe you’re planning for the work week ahead and you have to plan time to rest so your pain doesn’t get the best of you.

Maybe it’s confusion that’s getting the best of you lately. Confusion swimming to the surface when you try and figure out why your pain is worse than normal, worse than you had anticipated. Thoughts run through your mind: “I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary yesterday, but I can barely get out of bed. What happened?” or “Did I accidentally push myself too much yesterday? Did I forget to do my physical therapy exercises?”

On days when the pain is raging, when uncertainty and confusion are adding difficulty, it can help to have a mantra or quotes to find comfort or solace in.

Here are five quotes to turn to on bad days with chronic pain:

1. “Language is always inadequate in the face of pain.” – John Green

This quote reminds us that there are not always words that will let us convey the depth, intensity and impact our pain has on us. It helps remind us that we don’t always have to find the words – we just have to find someone who can understand us and lean on them for support on rough days. Having someone that “just gets it” can be incredibly valuable for those of us living with chronic pain and other illnesses.

2. “Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” – Mary Tyler Moore  

This quote reminds us that even though we’re living with intense pain and the difficulties that arise from it, it leaves us stronger than we often realize. Being able to withstand a great deal of pain and continue living – and often thriving – shows tremendous strength and perseverance.

3. “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” – Buddhist Proverb

This quotes helps remind us that while we often cannot control our chronic pain, we can control how we react to it. So often when I wake up in pain, I have an urge to wallow in it. That urge, however, only increases my suffering. I can choose to do nothing, to not make choices that will either lessen the pain or mitigate it. I can choose how I think about my pain, choose the reaction I have to these difficult moments.

4. “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” – Oprah Winfrey

This quote reminds us that although dealing with pain is difficult, it can also teach us a lot. Leaning in to understand the lessons learned from living with chronic pain leaves you with an incredible amount of wisdom and insight. Taking that wisdom and then sharing it with others who can benefit from it turns pain into something a little bit brighter.

5. “Recovery begins with embracing our pain and taking the risk to share it with others. We do this by joining a group and talking about our pain.” – John Bradshaw

This quote reminds us that we are never alone in our pain, no matter how isolating it so often feels. Staying isolated in our pain only increases the struggling; staying silent perpetuates the pain. By reaching out and sharing our pain and our stories, we can find healing in a community that understands our experiences. There is nothing quite as healing as someone being able to relate to the difficult experiences and being able to talk with them about it.

What quotes do you turn to on a bad day?

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Thinkstock photo via MaskaRad.

Originally published: May 6, 2017
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