Oh boy this is a big one... and some of you will immediately know exactly what I mean by this.
I have been living with a lot of chronic pain for several years now... I'm good at it. In fact, I think I should get some kind of award, but sadly this mad skill is not recognised.
The source of anyone’s pain is irrelevant when it comes to having to live with it. There are many types of pain - nerve, muscle, back, a sprained ankle, emotional pain and they all come in acute or chronic formats – all are hard to live with.
Something happens to you when you have to deal with a large amount of pain... like ALL THE BLOODY TIME. It wears you down, it makes you tired, it makes you cranky, it sucks the life out of you, it makes you not want to go out and play and it can eventually become completely oppressive.
It is not until you are taught tried and tested coping skills so that you can better deal with your pain that you can emerge triumphant from under the oppressive nature of pain. I am lucky that I did an immersive course at the Royal North Shore pain clinic which was very helpful but at the end of the day, you still have to deal with a bunch of never ending pain.
Even with guidance and daily practice of pain management techniques, pain can still pile up and become oppressive again. It's a daily struggle and often you can't win the battle no matter how hard you try.
The struggle is real.
Over 11% of people have chronic pain of some kind so if you know someone who is suffering try to do something nice for them... chances are they're exhausted and a bit fed up.
Now that winter is here and the cold has swept in I am a prisoner of my pain. Cold weather is my kryptonite and right now I am doing my best to dodge the cold. You may not see me out and about much in winter but I will be doing my best to fight this great oppressor by continuing to work, create and be the best me I can be (from within my prison).
When we are suffering from pain of any kind (physical, emotional or spiritual) we can feel very isolated and alone. At the end of the day can anyone truly understand your unique brand of suffering? No, chances are they cannot. Our suffering is as unique as we are and even if we are exposed to exactly the same stress, we will all respond differently.
This can make it difficult to feel like anyone can relate or help.
In truth, someone does not need to know my exact suffering to be able to support or care for me. It's important to remember this the next time you're riding out a rough patch. My friends and family try to understand the physical pain I put up with on a daily basis - I do my best to hide it - but no matter how hard they try, they cannot.
This does not mean that they can't support me, listen to me and do their best to help me out when needed. It can be very difficult to accept help but we all need support at different times in our lives so it's best not to fight it.
So, the next time you feel like no one can reach you, help you our support you remember that your loved ones don't need to have gone through exactly what you are going through to be able to help. Accept that while they cannot understand exactly what you're going through, that does not exclude them from being there for you. Let them make you a cup of tea... let them give you a hug... let them in and you never know, it might make things just a little bit easier.