The Emotional side of Chronic Pain 

Waking up to face another day in this body that seems to have failed me in so many ways, leads to a whole new load of emotions I never even knew a human being could experience.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat on the edge of the bed (after successfully managing to get my spine to let me move or sit up) and thought I was still asleep. In fact it’s probably more wishing i was still asleep and this whole journey is just some sort of twisted nightmare. 

With every morning I wake and realise it’s my reality, all I want to do is cry. My eyes fill with tears which I fight hard to hold back. It then hits my heart like a tonne of bricks, and that’s the moment you realise that this is in fact your life. Reality has a just slapped you in the face real hard.  But this emotional pain has a tight hold over your body.  It’s a deep, aching, heart sinking pain.  This life is now what you call existing, trying to make it through a day, and the emotional side effect of that reality is a hard one to come to terms with. 

It’s not something that I have noticed has gone away over the last 7 years of being chronically ill, but on one had I can say it has lessened, but when I do have these moments, they seem to hit hard.  Is it because I’m now used to wakening up every day knowing what lies ahead? If I give it too much thought then perhaps I’m always going to feel that way? 

There are no easy answers or solutions to combat the emotional side of your pain, but these are the days when you need to remember just to be kind and gentle to yourself.

If all you did that day was make it out of bed, then that’s fine. If you can’t face the day, then that’s fine too. Not every day is going to be like this. The sun will shine again, and your pain and even emotions will subside long enough for you to give yourself a break and allow you to do something you wanted to do that day. 

On these rollercoaster days, I try to do things that I find helpful, and sure, they don’t always work, but at the end of the day if I can say I gave it a go, if I can say that I tried to control my emotions, even just a little bit, then that’s progress enough for me.

  1. Don’t over think things. Especially when your feeling so low and the pain is so high, it’s easy for your mind to go in to overdrive, and it’s easy for you to beat yourself up over the tiniest of things. Give your mind and soul a rest and go easy.
  2. Talk. I was never one for talking about how I felt, but just recently, being able to blurt out what is going through my mind has helped immensely, letting those frazzled thoughts out of your head is a refreshing release.
  3. Write it down. This may sound crazy, but, keep a journal of how you are feeling, your thoughts. I find that writing things down, gets it out of my head and on to paper, leaving my  body and brain with space to focus on other things. Plus having those words to look back on might just make you realise how far you’ve come. 
  4. Don’t give up. I live by the saying “Never make a permanent decision on a temporary feeling”.  You may feel like giving up, but who knows what tomorrow will bring. Take each day as it comes, grab it with both hands and know that tomorrow is another day, and that day may just be better than today. 
  5. Escape. Do something that you enjoy.  Get away from your current surroundings and breathe. Just recently I was very overwhelmed, and decided that I needed some time on my own, so I took my dog and went for a long walk down by the river.  Nothing but me, him, nature and silence. For me this was calming, and I didn’t actually realise just how much I needed to escape my own  head, for those precious moments. 

But most of all, What you do need to remember is that these are YOUR emotions and this is YOUR journey. People aren’t mind readers (although wouldn’t that be amazing, maybe!?) and although probably with good intentions, other people are also not experts on YOUR health. You are the only person that can control your pain, and know what works best for you. 

So remember to lay off the self guilt trips, because those are doing you no good. Remember to be kind to yourself, because kindness costs nothing. Give yourself a massive pat on the back, because you deserve to be happy, and each day YOU are making the most of this life you have been dealt.

Nobody said having Chronic Pain was going to be easy, and it’s really not easy. But it is OK to cry, it’s OK to have sad moments and yearn for the life you once had. It’s OK to want more than pain in your future. 

You will probably continue to have moments like these, they may become less frequent, or they may even hurt more, but they don’t make you any less of a human being or define who you are as a person. So have your moments, and do what you need to do to help yourself, because you know what….  that’s fine. 

Totally fine.

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25 thoughts on “The Emotional side of Chronic Pain 

  1. Sending you all the love in the world. It breaks my heart to hear how profound your pain is but it also inspires me greatly to see the wonderful things you achieve daily despite your pain. Excellent words of advice Kat and this post will be of excellent comfort to many! Sending hugs! X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So beautifully written. Don’t over think things is such a big one for me because I do it all the time (yay for the wonderful combination of chronic pain and severe anxiety -_-). It’s such good advice as I find the stress from over-thinking and convincing myself that the tiniest things are the biggest mistakes often ends up causing me more physical pain. Thank you for that reminder not to get obsessive, and for the inspiration this post brings.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for finding the words to illustrate something few understand — Just how complex Chronic Pain can be, and how tangled our emotions become. From one #chronicpain warrior to another here’s a HUGE HUG! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post, it hits the nail on the head with how I often real and it’s so comforting and reassuring to see in writing about acceptance, that it’s ok to cry, that it’s ok if you don’t ‘achieve’ much more than the basics in your day because of how you feel. Escaping for a little (books for me are brilliant) tend to give me enough headspace to relax, or a little walk (sadly no dog for me – but a golden retriever is on my wish list!)
    Just remember to read this back when you’re struggling and riding this same rollercoaster.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Caz x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Caz, that’s some very good advice, I really should read this back on my bad days, thanks for reminding me of that! I agree with reading books, that’s also a brilliant escape! Good luck with the dog, I hope santa is listening xx

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I find animals are very comforting. I just got a baby Ball Python recently and he is helping me through one of those times when one thing after another is hitting me all at once.

    That is a cute dog you have there.

    I’ve read that petting an animal can interrupt pain signals and increase endorphins. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww yey, I’m glad you’ve found something to comfort you, although I’m petrified of snakes! But you enjoy, and I truly hope he helps you! Yes I read that too, I think I saw it was cats that if you pet them they reduce stress levels. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Today was a “bed day” today. Thank you for writing this….it makes me feel a little less alone in the world. As someone who also suffers from major depressive disorder, bed days are especially hard for me emotionally. It was a comfort to read this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for your honesty. It’s not easy, nowhere near easy. It’s hard and it sucks and we have to get through it. Your suggestions to help yourself are great.
    Thank you again

    Like

  8. You’ve managed to put into words exactly what it’s like every morning for me. I hate knowing another person feels the same way but at the same time it’s slightly comforting to know you’re not the only one. I hope there will be mornings for us both one day where we wake up , happy and hopeful, rather than this daily feeling of “ I just can’t face another day….” your posts are very inspiring. I’ve just joined word press about an hour ago and I’m hoping it will be therapeutic to be able to be honest on here rather than my continual bottling up of it all. Thank you for inspiring me and I hope tomorrow is a better day xx

    Liked by 1 person

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