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To the Silent Warriors Fighting Through Nights of Painsomnia

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Everyone will eat waffles, pancakes and toast, oblivious to the battle you are exhausted from fighting. During this battle, you are not congratulated for fighting or hugged when you come home safe. This battle is invisible. This battle happens at the darkest hours. This battle is chronic pain. This is painsomnia.

You are awoken at 3 a.m., bones and nerves in your body screaming from pain. The heating pad is on high but feels lukewarm. The 15 seconds you stand out of the shower waiting for the water to get warm are the most painful 15 seconds of your life it seems.

Sometimes you cannot stand at all. Sometimes the bathroom floor will become your home. It will become your home because its door can conceal your muffled cries from the children or spouses who are fast asleep. There are no distractions from your pain. So you lay and let it course through your body, along with the medicine and tea you seem to gulp down with it.

You prepare yourself for the next time you will fight this battle. Fill your phone with inspirational quotes specifically for when it’s 3 a.m. and the pain is too much and you feel like you will always feel this way. You tell yourself that even though this won’t be the last time, or probably the worst time, you will make it through. The sun will rise, and with it, you will too. No matter how sleep deprived and sore, you too will rise.

Most people will not congratulate you on coming home safe from your battle, but I will. Congratulations. It was painful, exhausting and scary, but you made it. I am proud of you. Welcome home.

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Thinkstock photo via MatiasEnElMundo.

Originally published: October 9, 2017
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