I think we need to talk...

The struggle with pain is something that is ultimately faced alone. How morbidly depressing a thought that is. We can't take on the pain for others, we can't live through the hard times when the medication fails and the nights are long and lonely. We can't take on the weight of our loved one's burdens. I've used this blog as a portal to discuss, more often than not, accepting our pain and the pain of others, usually in a sarcastic manner. But today I want to say something else.

To all the loved ones of people in chronic pain out there... Please, stop acting like jerkwads. Please, please, please stop it. I'm really tired and I really, really, really need you to all stop being self-entitled crank-monsters who think that no one else can understand what they go through. We pain sufferers have support groups, and guess what, so do you guys. So please, before you proceed to lose your patience with the patient (say that ten times fast), remember that, if you so desire, you can walk away. I mean, you'll ultimately be a horrible human being if that is the only reason you can come up with for leaving, but you can, and your life will go on. We can't walk away from our pain. It's along for the ride, and for most of us, it is going to be a very, very long ride.

This isn't coming from a (very) bitter place in my (blackened husk of a) soul, it's just a simple observation. I try my best to remind myself that my bad moods, when they happen, come from very particular reasons, and by telling my loved ones this I accomplish nothing. In fact, they might even be slightly fed up that they are hearing it over and over again. I don't know. I like to think they would have patience for it, but lately I've started to doubt it.

In so many ways I feel like my support system is fracturing. I'm not a big complainer, mostly because I hate it when people don't keep perspective (there's that word again!) But lately it's felt like those around me who might have once been integral to that support system, no longer accept pain as an adequate excuse. Unfortunately for them, and me, it isn't an excuse, it's a fact, and when I'm in a bad mood and tell you exactly why, I do not expect you to simply change the subject and ignore what I've said.

I'm in pain. Acknowledge it. Please.

I know, you think it doesn't do any good. Maybe you feel helpless or frustrated or angry or annoyed. Whatever it is, remember, I'm feeling it too, and again, you can walk away. You might not be a doctor who has studied chronic pain extensively, and you might not be an ortho surgeon with golden fingers, but you, as someone I love and need in my life, make all the difference when you tell me "I'm sorry you're in so much pain today, love. I am so sorry." Do you know what a difference that makes? Don't tell me that you wish there was something you could do. Unless you're one of the two above things, you and I both know it's a hopeless situation. Please, for both our sakes, don't underestimate the power of acknowledging what I'm going through, and I'll do the same for you.

Also, maybe you ought to grow up a bit.

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