It is hard to imagine a time when chronic pain did not play a significant part in my daily life. That time is incredibly hard to envisage as I lay here in excruciating, searing pain.  

But there was a time when chronic pain, was just a mild annoyance. To me, it was just pain. Yes, it hurt and made life difficult, but it was something that I could handle. I thought that it was normal, a sign of growing pains and not of anything wrong, especially anything serious.

Oh, how I wish I could return to the days before the pain became chronic and overwhelmingly relentless. Before I could no longer remember what it is not to be in constant, excruciating pain. Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash.

Oh, how I wish I could return to those days. But today, especially on one of my worst days I can’t imagine what it is not to be in pain. Or a time when it was anything but chronic. The time when the problem was considered normal and not a permanent reminder of the neurological disorder that has consumed my entire being.

“But today, especially on one of my worst days I can’t imagine what it is not to be in pain. Or a time when it was anything but chronic.” Click To Tweet

Now, I can no longer remember how it feels not to be in pain. Or even how long it has been since the pain has become chronic. Or a permanent feature in my life. But it has now become my reality.  One that continues to flare and get worse, and to which I have to learn to adapt to time and time again.

“Now, I can no longer remember how it feels not to be in pain. Or even how long it has been since the pain has become chronic. Or a permanent feature in my life. But it has now become my reality.” Click To Tweet

Often Feeling Nothing Than The Pain Itself

Yes, when living with chronic pain, there are good moments as well as bad. The problem, however, is that the bad days often heavily outweigh the good. And of course, there are the frequent awful days. The days in which chronic pain consumes the entire day, sometimes days.

“Yes, when living with chronic pain, there are good moments as well as bad. The problem, however, is that the bad days often heavily outweigh the good. And of course, there are the frequent awful days.” Click To Tweet

It is on these awful days that it seems that the only sensation that I am aware of is pain.   The feeling of the soft material caressing my skin or the cold of the metal of the bracelets surrounding my wrist does not register. Instead, I am only aware of the throbbing, squeezing and stabbing pains that dominate deep inside my weakened legs.

curled up in a foetal position because of pain
When pain becomes chronic, it can often seem like the only feeling we can discern is the pain that is ravaging our bodies.

The pain is constant; yes, there are times when it might be better than other days, but there is never an off-button. Living with chronic pain, the feelings and sensations that it invokes never stops.  Pain is often wholly overwhelming, entirely unpredictable, and frustrating.  One from which we have no respite or holiday from, however much we wish that we could.

“The pain is constant; yes, there are times when it might be better than other days, but there is never an off-button. Living with chronic pain, the feelings and sensations that it invokes never stops.” Click To Tweet

Chronic Pain Is Gruelling and Exhausting To Live With

The persistent and constant unpredictable nature of chronic pain means that to live with it is gruelling and tiresome. Battling the severe crushing pain twenty-four-seven becomes your own personal Mount Everest.  Every day you are forced to overcome and persevere through its harshest conditions.  

“Battling the severe crushing pain twenty-four-seven becomes your own personal Mount Everest.  Every day you are forced to overcome and persevere through its harshest conditions.” Click To Tweet

But often, the difficulty in navigating such terrain is that it continually changes. And as the territory changes, so do what we can tolerate.  No one day is predictable; one day, I might be able to accomplish the tasks I set for myself but unable to do anything at all on another. Some days I able to push myself further than my limits but on others doing so only makes the pain worse.  

The persistent and constant unpredictable nature of chronic pain means that to live with it is gruelling and tiresome. Battling the severe crushing pain twenty-four-seven becomes your own personal Mount Everest.  Every day you are forced to overcome and persevere through its harshest conditions.

Chronic pain continually pushes you to your limits and further pushes your boundaries. It is continuously relentless and all-consuming; a storm that cannot stop, only weathered. 

“Chronic pain continually pushes you to your limits and further pushes your boundaries. It is continuously relentless and all-consuming; a storm that cannot stop, only weathered.” Click To Tweet

Tempting To Hold Onto Hope; The Thought That It Will Get Better

Despite the ferociousness of chronic pain, however, I still find myself holding onto the hope that it will change. The hope that the pain will miraculously disappear never to return and life will forever be different.

However much I wish that the pain will disappear I wake up disappointed when I wake and it remains.

Each morning, however much I hope that things will be different, I am immediately met with searing, debilitating pain. And each morning I feel so sad, disappointed, and deeply frustrated that the pain remains the same; and life isn’t any different than the previous day.  Heartbreakingly, of all is that when the pain becomes chronic, this scenario becomes our hellish version of Groundhog Day. 

“Each morning, however much I hope that things will be different, I am immediately met with searing, debilitating pain. And each morning I feel so sad, disappointed, and deeply frustrated that the pain remains the same.” Click To Tweet

The Dream of Running Away From The Pain

When pain firsts start, or before it becomes chronic, it is easy to run from it.  At first, pain is benign and only slightly bothersome, so distraction is easy, and pain is something that you can handle and put up with relative ease.   

When it becomes chronic, however, pain is much harder to cope with, and making distraction much harder to implement in life. At this moment, whilst in unbearable pain, I wish I could run from it; running from chronic pain is something that I always wish I could do. It’s as if by denying it’s very existence will stop it from hurting and not affect me or have the impact it does on my life.

“Running from chronic pain is something that I always wish I could do. It’s as if by denying it’s very existence will stop it from hurting and not affect me or have the impact it does on my life.” Click To Tweet

However, I am unable to run from the pain that is destroying my legs and my life. Although I try to outrun it, pain continually reminds me that it is stronger and faster than I. Pain always catches up with me, and am reminded of its power and ferocity.  Nor does time stand still while consumed by pain.  No, time and life continue while pain perseveres with its destruction, and I still suffer. 

“Although I try to outrun it, pain continually reminds me that it is stronger and faster than I. Pain always catches up with me, and am reminded of its power and ferocity.” Click To Tweet

But my running from the pain, I am also running from the reality of my life with chronic pain. By doing so, I am unable to address my chronic pain.  Only by addressing it and the FND that has consumed my life, I can move forward and find ways to live with it instead of against it.  

Thoughts of Mending The Pain, Until It Becomes Chronic And Mending Can No Longer Transpire

Pain is something that everyone has experienced. We hurt or injure ourselves, and pain suddenly appears. It’s often excruciating and distressing, but there is comfort in the knowledge that it is temporary, with an expiration date. We know that our bodies will mend itself, and the pain will dissipate.

But such comfort does not exist when one suffers from persistent chronic pain. Because living with chronic pain, there is no expiration date. It is not temporary, with no end in sight.

Life becomes a battleground; us versus the pain

“But such comfort does not exist when one suffers from persistent chronic pain. Because living with chronic pain, there is no expiration date. It is not temporary, with no end in sight.” Click To Tweet

Instead, pain begins to dictate our lives. It dictates whether we can get out of bed, wash our hair, leave the comfort home or even meet a friend for lunch. Life begins to revolve around pain as every decision; every task needs to consider it as to whether we can say yes to it.

“Life begins to revolve around pain as every decision; every task needs to take it into consideration as to whether we can say yes to it.” Click To Tweet

We try anything and would gladly give up anything to fight and defeat the pain. It becomes a battleground; us versus the pain – a fight that we often lose and often nothing helps ease it. And so we quickly learn that mending may never be possible, so instead are forced to find ways to cope with it as best we can; anything to stop it from driving us crazy or continually stealing even more pieces of our lives. 

“We try anything and would gladly give up anything to fight and defeat the pain. It becomes a battleground; us versus the pain – a fight that we often lose and often nothing helps ease it.” Click To Tweet

In what ways, has your life changed when your pain became chronic?

This blog post was written for Pain Awareness Month and as part of the September Link-Up Party with A Chronic Voice.

What Happens When Pain Becomes Chronic
September Link-Up Party with A Chronic Voice





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