Are you able to balance many things at once while in chronic pain? If this is you, then you my friend are a chronic pain warrior! I like to look at it like this, yes; chronic pain can be a major pain in the ass but it makes you realize your strong points! It makes you feel like you have superpowers and can fight against evil but of course with breaks in between. Whether you’re employed, a parent, student, or whatever you may be; remember that you are strong, fearless, and a complete BAD ASS! Here are 5 reasons why you are a chronic pain warrior and why you should give yourself more credit:
5. Through the Pain, You Still Smile!
You don’t like to show distress even though you are having the worse flare up ever! People would never know what you are going through unless your facial expressions are clearly visible. At times when you are alone you may have moments of weakness, but when you are faced in front of peers you show that you are copacetic. Most people tend to be shocked when they find out what you are really going through on a daily basis because you are so good at hiding it. Don’t be afraid to show moments of pain and weakness, it’s okay! Remember that you are human and that it does not make you any less of a warrior.
4. You Don’t Punch People
Sometimes you hear ignorant statements from family, friends, and even strangers that say they are concerned, but their choice of words lack empathy. You may hear phrases such as “at least it’s not cancer,” or “you need to stop complaining!” These inappropriate choice of words can make you want to ball up your fist and punch the crudeness out of them, but you don’t! Instead, what you do is knock them out with knowledge. You educate them on your illness and let them know that their statements are cruel and judgmental!
3. You Get It Done!
Getting up early mornings are a struggle, but you do it! You manage to make a living with a career even through the complete torment of your illness. You juggle several things such as parenting, work life, doctor’s appointments, relationships, cooking and cleaning. You never miss out on an opportunity when it comes knocking on your door. Sometimes you may struggle but that never stops you from chasing the cash flow, because after all the bills don’t pay themselves! At the end of the day, you think to yourself how was I able to do all of this? Well, the answer is simple! A chronic pain warrior doesn’t let pain dictate their present and future. So sit back, relax and have a glass of wine!
2. You Don’t Make Promises
You’re probably wondering why this would make me a warrior. When suffering from chronic pain on a consistent basis it is very difficult to attend events planned or not. Friends and family may not understand the hassle that chronic pain warriors have to go through to attend a gathering. According to YouGov it takes the majority of us (56%) between 11 and 30 minutes each day to get ready. About 4% take over an hour just to get ready. Let’s assume that the 4% is referencing people living with chronic pain. Imagine your time being spent picking out an outfit that will make you feel comfortable and shoes that won’t hurt your already painful feet. It’s frustrating! This is why it’s best to not make promises and be completely upfront with the ones you care about. Don’t make promises that your body can’t keep, only you know your limits!
1. You Literally Have Super Powers
Watch out Spiderman and Supergirl because the chronic pain warrior is coming to the rescue! Let’s compare some already amazing superheroes to your amazing powers you may have:
- Invisible Woman – She can’t be seen and neither can your illness. Many people living with chronic pain suffer from some autoimmune diseases and even cancers that can’t be detected by the eye, but they make their presence known only to the one living with it.
- Superman – One of the strongest superheroes ever! Superman has super strength and so do you! You may not have the muscle power like him but you have the ability to take physical pain. That doesn’t mean you like pain, it just means that you know how to deal with it. Superman also possess the powers of enhanced hearing and x-ray vision. Those of us with chronic pain have a tendency to hear things more clearly than others. We can hear the sympathy in others voices who are hurting and we can see where we are at even in a dark room. We have the capability to get around much better than we have ever before.
- Batman – An obvious power of this superhero is his ability to pay attention to detail, his technical abilities, and awareness which makes him one of the smartest superheroes around. Batman also has willpower and so do chronic pain warriors. When you are capable of performing nearly impossible tasks with consistent pain you almost become superhuman.
So give yourself a light tap on the back my chronic pain warrior! You have defeated so many things even with the odds against you. Next time you catch yourself in a funk just remember that you were chosen as a warrior because you are strong and resilient! You got this!