When I’m alone at night I reflect on everything I’ve been through in life.
It’s not so much that I’m holding onto the past, I’m simply realizing how much I’ve overcome.
My pain lies deeper than just that of my conditions. I not only hurt physically, but I’ve been hurt emotionally and mentally.
I was molested as a child, starting at the age of 4. It ended when I built up the courage to speak up about it, at age 13. But even after speaking out, I was met with disbelief by some.
I was also in an abusive relationship as a teenager and young adult. To me, it was okay to suffer because it was all I had known growing up.
When I was first diagnosed, I thought I was being punished for being a “bad seed”. Since I was damaged, I deserved to be in even more physical pain.
When all you know is pain, whether it’s from an illness or other factors in life, you tend to have moments when your strength isn’t enough to get you through your bad days.
If I say I’m angry at my situation, people jump on me about needing to be positive and strong. I am that person 99% of the time, but why am I not allowed one moment of weakness to say exactly how I feel about my life?
I’m only human and break just as easily as anyone else.
I’ve met many people who suffer from one or more of the conditions I have, usually while I’m in the waiting room at my doctor’s office. Although our stories are not exactly the same, many of them have suffered traumatic pasts.
These people are all positive like me, but when they share their stories I see anger in their eyes. It’s almost as if they are reliving their past in that one brief moment.
I can only wonder how many others who suffer from chronic pain have a traumatic background. It may be possible there are more of us out there than we may think.
The first step towards healing is realizing that it may not have been in our control then, but it is now.
Arlene Grau lives in Lakewood, California. She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, migraine, vasculitis, and Sjogren’s disease.
The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that! It is for informational purposes only and represent the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.