Do you experience pain that no medical doctor has been able to understand? Have you been made to feel like you are making your pain up or have you been looked at with skepticism?
I often find myself wondering if people who do not live with a chronic illness are aware of how often those living with a chronic condition tend to blame themselves and feel shame for things that are really out of their control. It is my inclination to believe that most people do not think about the intensity and frequency of self-blame, guilt, and shame that people living with chronic illnesses may inflict on themselves. These experiences of blame, guilt, and shame can be quite emotionally painful and can oftentimes result in the person doing things that are not in his or her best interest in order to not feel painful feelings.
When living with chronic pain or chronic illness long enough, at times some people can start to believe that their discomfort is normal, until a moment comes and they are reminded that in fact it is not. Many people who live with chronic pain and illness may quickly understand what I am referring to... those moments when you look around and realize that nobody else in the room is experiencing the pain that you are. This may feel obvious to some; however, pain and discomfort may have become the new normal for many people living with pain. It is always or usually there, and some people may have even forgotten what it is like to live without it.
Living with a chronic illness and managing one's own life can be an enormous challenge. A person may have to make accommodations and adjustments to their daily routine, including things like meals, physical activity, work, and social events. This can often feel frustrating and challenging. However, many mothers who live with chronic illness much rather prefer that to what it feels like having to manage their illness while also being a parent.
All people know the feeling of loneliness and have experienced it from time to time. There are not many people who would say that they like the feeling of loneliness. In fact, most people try to run away from it as soon as possible in whatever way they can. Oftentimes, people begin to feel less lonely once they can acknowledge that there are others who feel similarly.