When You Can No Longer Smile Through The Pain

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

To be chronically ill and live with chronic pain, you have no choice but to try and be strong. You must smile through the pain, not show the worry on your face, pretend you’re OK when you’re not, and hold back countless tears. For the most part, I’d like to say that I do pretty well at that. But then there are times that I’m nothing but a mess or for better terms; a disaster.

I will randomly have a week where I will just cry and it’s not from being ‘hormonal’. This is just me, sad. I will cry from TV shows, movies, social media, and pretty much anything. Once I watched the Disney movie Moana. I cried hysterically and felt that because my illness, I do not know who I am nor where I belong. That I could never be strong or brave like, Moana. I mean this sounds ridiculous, right? A 25-year-old crying over a Disney movie and somehow made it a message that I’m failure at life, nor as strong as a fictional character.

I believe when I become this overemotional me and cry for many reasons- It’s because I can no longer hold back the tears, the pain, sorrow, depression, anxiety, fear, and the unknown future of my life. Every time I think it’s getting better something else occurs. I’d like to hope it’s just because I’m still rather new at this and that my doctors will find a way to keep it from causing any more pain.

Recently, in church I was so in much pain, hiding behind my mask (pretending to be OK). When it came to giving peace to one another, an elderly woman, she had the most sad and broken look in her face, then asked me if I was okay that I looked like I was in pain.

I hope no one takes offense from my next sentences. But, I broke down in tears when a woman probably three times my age asked me if I was okay and could see I was in pain.  She was sorry for me, I didn’t want her to be. I felt that I couldn’t imagine that a woman who seemed frail was actually concerned about me. I was incredibly embarrassed even though this woman only had good intentions. My self-esteem was now broken.  I left church crying, asking “God, why me? Where did I go wrong? What did I deserve this disease for?”

But I thought I was stronger than that? How could I let myself fall apart like that? The following weekend the pain grew worse, but I kept saying I was okay. My husband and I, did a short visit to Costco. I said I’d be find without the wheelchair and let the elderly woman have it. By the time we got to back of store. I could no longer walk. I thought my legs were going to just break and I would lay there on the floor until someone would come and get me off the floor.

My husband offered to help me sit in the cart but I told him, if I got in the cart there was probably no getting out. Right there in the moment I cried so hard, it was an ugly cry. All I wanted to do was grab a handful of things and I couldn’t. Everyone saw me limping and crying, people passing me, saying excuse me, and just staring at me. I felt like an animal on display at the zoo.

Thankfully, I have tender husband who holds my hand no matter what. Because in the past couple of weeks I’ve felt more humiliated than in my entire life. It is times like this that no matter how strong we are, we might end up breaking down, and we must not hold all these feelings inside because it just creates more heart ache. I plan to be more honest with myself and try not to care so much about what other thinks about me. Because honestly, why should I care anyway?

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