Living Daily with Chronic Invisible Illness

Do Loved Ones Understand our Chronic Pain?

We have a Chronic Pain Disorder; Now let’s talk about whether the loved ones around us can understand what we deal with daily.

We try not to vocalize our pains or we sound like a hypochondriac.  We try not to over-do it, but then we look lazy. When we do things we shouldn’t, we are told to stop so we don’t over-do it, then we get frustrated because it won’t get done. We might ask for help, but then we appear helpless and like we are not trying.

It is a never-ending cycle of mental and emotional stress.

We might look at the chores around the house or yard and think “I could do that today…” then we do “that” and later we can scarcely move and we wake up feeling run over.

Things need done. Plain and simple.

We may exercise daily-walking outside, treadmill, Aridyne bike, etc.-keeping our bodies in the best shape possible, knowing it’ll hurt us later. We may drink the daily recommended amount of water, eat all the right fruits and veggies, make our proportions the correct sizes, not eat sugar-filled foods, etc.

But we Fibros know that it DOESN’T MATTER. We will still HURT.

So, what does all that have to do with whether or not loved ones understand what we deal with?

Truth is, they don’t and never can. I know that sounds menacing, but we are being real here, right? 

Everything described in the above paragraphs are our reality. Now, several factors may contribute to the attitudes of the loved ones, like the kind of day they are having, stresses in their lives, etc. I mean, being a caregiver is not as easy task. Many of us Fibros don’t necessarily need a caregiver, just a sympathetic party who tries to understand and isn’t harsh about it; someone who sees what needs to be done that you cannot do, and offers to do it, or better still, just does it.  But that can be a tall order for most people. 

We could lower our expectations, but then, we may find ourselves alone in our pain. That is a very hard place to be. 

Alone in our pain.

I know some of us need to work outside the home to make ends meet. Having Fibromyalgia, Lupus or other CPD, working outside of the home is rough on our bodies. Even one who is fortunate to work from home or is a full-time mom, the daily struggles and pains are REAL. 

In my world, speaking about my pain and struggles may elicit unwanted advice that wouldn’t be helpful at all, or worse, elicit an argument about it, causing more pain. Some days it’s just better for me to fake the smile and push through to avoid unpleasant conversations that stimulate the pain response. 

What if those around you are dealing with something that you mentally and physically cannot help them with, but they need our help? Well, we put on that smile so we don’t look like a pained zombie and do our best to help them through whatever-it-is, all the while wishing someone would see through our smile to our hurting body and offer us the same compassion that we are expected to give. 

Our mental state is often hanging in the balance between never-ending pain and trying to act normal. Daily pain is not normal-unless you have Fibromyalgia, Lupus, PSA, etc. 

And unless they suffer from those afflictions, they won’t understand. This is where our hearts and minds need to look elsewhere. 

We need not look to man for our help; We must look to Jesus. 

Psalm 121:2 says “My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”

We must continually lean on God for our strength. 

“For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”-Isaiah 41:1

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” -Philippians 4:6

“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” -Psalm 18:2

Loved ones cannot possibly understand the magnitude of our pain, but Jesus does. 

Call out to Jesus and ask Him to give you the endurance to persevere and conquer each day and all the hurdles set before you. If He chooses to release you from your pain-Praise God!! But what I do know is He promises to be there for us while we are in the midst of our pain in ways that no human can be. 

Let us remember to lean on Jesus when we get frustrated about our loved one’s lack of understanding. 

So, when loved ones continually let you down, seek Jesus. He understands and will help you. Read your Bible. Pray to the God Who Listens.

Photo credit to my youngest daughter.
The view from our northwest pasture.
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