Sometimes when people find out I have been living with chronic pain, they say “I don’t know how you do it.”
I want to tell them “Don’t worry, I don’t know either.”
I don’t have some secret method of handling pain that makes it less painful for me than it does for you, I don’t have some super power that makes me better at dealing with it. I basically just get up each day and live, which considering the opposite choice, is one of the most basic decisions a person can make.
I suppose I could say something inspiring about how I get through due to prayer or meditation, that the relationships I have sustain me, that my children keep me going. All those things are true, but they aren’t true in the simplistic way people seem to want them to be. I get up because I have to. I keep going because to stop is to die.
I am not saintly about it. I cry and bitch and whine and moan. I complain about how bloody unfair it all is. I feel selfish for complaining and then angry that I feel selfish. I am certain most of my friends are tired of hearing me bitch and so I withdraw inside myself (or now, here.) I give up regularly. All the time. Several times a day. I can’t express how much I wish I had some magical mechanism I could employ that would turn me into a strong, stoic chronic pain sufferer who inspires everyone to shoulder their burdens more willingly.
I think if I had such a mechanism, I would want to meet that me and ask her how she does it.