If you are suffering from chronic physical pain, not only does it affect you on a day-to-day basis…it also deeply affects everyone else who loves you.
If I had a nickel for each time one of my loved ones said they wished they could take my physical pain away, I would be a very rich woman indeed. (Oh, yes, I would be a millionaire.)
If you’re dealing with a chronic physical condition of any kind, it hurts your loved ones just as much as it hurts you, but in a different way. They just don’t know what to do. They feel helpless. They do what they can, but despite their efforts, they just can’t help to restore you to what you once were. Believe me, they would cut off their right arm to make you feel better.
They want to see you laugh again. They want to hear you sing again. They desperately want your spirit to return to what it once was.
I often wonder what’s worse—being the person in chronic pain, or being the person who wished they could take it all away. They love you so much that they would rather endure it themselves. The frustrating part is that they just can’t.
If you are a person whose life has been affected by chronic pain, you don’t need to be told how much it has altered your normal day-to-day routine or self-image. You know that the image you portray to others is not always your normal self. It may not be the self who gives and receives love freely. It may portray more of the shell of self-protection that you have built around yourself just to cope with the nightmare you're living in.
Your loved ones who truly 'get it' understand why you are lying down at 3 o’clock in the afternoon because you can no longer bear sitting up. They understand that you have reached the limits of your physical tolerance. They know that it’s not because you are lazy or inadequate. They understand that it’s because you have already pushed your physical and mental limits to their fullest, and that if you are to continue on with the rest of your day, you need to take this very essential break.
Giving in to one’s physical limitations is a tough thing to swallow for anyone who is used to being in control of their own life on a day-to-day basis. It can cause a real depression. It can actually affect one’s relationships with their loved ones to the point where those same loved ones no longer know what to do, what to say, or even how to think or feel themselves.
For the majority of us, I believe that our physical condition may affect our spouses, partners, children, parents and friends a bit more than they are always willing to let on. While on the outside they may strive very hard to appear upbeat and positive, deep down inside they likely feel the same frustration, fear and anger, and may even have to work on a daily basis at not succumbing to their own negative emotions.
Chronic pain is never solitary...it also affects each and everyone who truly loves us.