Jess always manages to bring my heart into my throat with her writing, but this idea of isolation due to chronic pain is so prevalent in my life, especially recently, that I thought I would share her words.
I’ve been making some new friends lately in class. It feels weird because I honestly havn’t made a “new friend” for years. Having chronic pain is like being the worst kind of narcissist. And that is really REALLY hard on friendships. There are few people out there who are willing to look past what comes out of chronic pain..
Mostly they all just get fed up and leave.. or you end up chasing them away with words you will NEVER be able to explain don’t come from your heart, and don’t really even come from your brain. They come from the sad lonely hurt that lives inside, and rarely if ever have ANYTHING to do with that person, or the situation.
But how can you explain that to someone. And more importantly how can you , when explaining it for the 10th time.. expect ANYONE to not throw up their arms and say “Eug I’m done with you”
Frankly I would like to be “Eugh done with myself” quite often…. unfortunately.. I can’t just not return my own emails… I’m stuck with this, and (from what the dr’s tell me) will be for the next good long while…
So although I would love to go back and share all this new knowledge I have with all those old friends who fell by the wayside.. that is just not realistic.. “Guys, I’m sorry I’m such a fuck up, look at me learning about my feelings!” Ya.. no one cares.. or maybe they did once, but not anymore… What is realistic is really looking into the new friendships I am making and being honest from the get go about MY expectations, and about what expectations my friends and loved ones have for me.
I am shocked that it has taken someone else to bring this subject to my attention as it is one of the most difficult aspects of chronic pain I have experienced. Over the years I have lost endless amounts of friends and loved ones due to my invisible illness. During my teen years and very early twenties I did not much isolate myself because of chronic pain. My journey with chronic pain did not get terrible until I was around the age of eighteen or so. This was a time in my life where my coping mechanism with chronic pain was going out with friends drinking and doing almost anything to numb the pain. I was still very much in search for a cure and throughout my early years of college was seeking help from different specialists weekly. As my hope for any help diminished I partied more and more…
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