What does chronic pain look like?

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What does pain look like? Seriously. It’s effing obvious. It’s got nothing to do with how a person looks. Because you should have seen them an hour ago.

It’s a house that’s dirty. 

 

Its kids showing up at school in unwashed uniforms. Its kids who don’t have lunch. It’s a house with no food. Its kids not showing up to school at all. 

 

Its garbage over flowing. Its laundry, clean and dirty, everywhere. Its a garden that needs weeding. Its a garden that isn’t a garden. 

 

It’s a wheelchair in the corner. Its crutches and a walker and a walking stick and everything in between. 

 

Its loads of pain meds, loads and loads. Its drinking too much because it eases the pain. It’s not enough sleep. It’s never getting anything done, because pain messes with your head and you can never quite get to that next thing on your to do list. Its phone calls to change appointments cos you can’t get there. Its phone calls that take three days to make because pain makes you incapable of focusing on anything. 

 

It’s getting excited because you made it to gym and having people so bluntly remind you that someone in real pain couldn’t/wouldn’t do that. It’s cruel. It’s kicking you when you’re down. 

 

It’s struggling to make healthy meals. It’s struggling to keep food down. It’s sleeping your life away. It’s being alone. It’s being isolated. Its crying a lot, but no one sees. No one sees. 

 

It’s smiling because when you see someone you want them to stop and chat because you spend your whole life alone. 

 

It’s the only conversations you get to have with some people is when they are giving you advice. Advice that shows that they have no idea what you’re going through. 

 

It’s smiling. And obviously if you’re smiling, you can’t possibly be in pain. If you went to gym you can’t possibly be in pain. If you went to the shop you can’t possibly be in pain. Not real pain. 

 

Its fighting depression. Its pushing yourself. It’s desperation. It’s 2am and 3am and 4am and its every night. And every morning. It’s knowing that every day will be agony and it’s choosing to stay alive anyway. It’s making that choice daily. 

 

It’s doing what they psych says. It’s staying positive. It’s finding purpose. It’s smiling and trying to be as happy as you can. But of course if you do that well, if you work at it and find a way to make the best of the life that you’ve been given, if you CAN do that, and you do it well, then your pain can’t be that bad. It can’t be. 

 

It’s smiling.

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