I believe you.
Living in a healthy person’s world can really mess with your head. You start doubting yourself when other people doubt you. “You don’t look sick. My back hurts too. Yeah, I hate having my period” they say to you as they sit in class. You know that if they were hurting nearly as much as you, they would also be home in bed. However, as much as we try to deny it, people get into our heads. Especially when we don’t have people around who remind us that what we feel is valid.
Most of my friends don’t suffer from chronic pain. Therefore, I cannot expect them to understand when I have to spend the entire day sleeping when I stayed up later than usual the night before. I cannot expect them to understand when I have to cancel our plans even though “you were fine yesterday.” I cannot expect them to understand that I just can’t do my laundry tonight because I have an exam tomorrow and if I take the energy to do my laundry, I won’t have any left for studying. I try to remind myself that these friends have never had to deal with someone like me: someone who hurts every day whether I am smiling or crying, in class or in bed, awake or asleep.
Sometimes other people’s doubts can get stuck in your head. You start to ask yourself, “am I really in pain?” and start listening to that voice that just keeps repeating “stop being lazy” or “you are weak”. These voices can be so damaging. We cannot let other people’s reactions to something they don’t know about minimize what we are feeling. They are not in our bodies, they do not know the extent of our pain. There are days where I feel lazy, as if my pain tolerance is too low and I am overreacting to something normal. It is when I surround myself with people who listen, people who understand, and most importantly, people who believe in me when I start to see my true strength.
Surround yourself with people who see you, pain or no pain. Find people who understand what you are going through. Don’t waste time justifying your pain to people who don’t get it. Don’t let them get to you because your pain is real.
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I decided to start a blog because my mental and physical conditions are constantly changing, and I want to help encourage people with similar experiences, and let them know they are not alone.