A Chronic Pain Story

By Alyssa Landreth // @landalyssa

I hear a lot of people talk about pain when they’re removed from it. People don’t talk about the hard stuff until they’re through it, or until there’s miles of distance between them and their pain. 

I don’t get the luxury of not thinking about pain; I’m guessing more of us than we’d like to admit don’t get to, either. I live in chronic pain. On good days there’s a constant dull ache. On bad days there’s still the aching, but there’s also shooting and stabbing pains everywhere in my body, without warning, whenever the pain wants to show up. I spend a lot of my time in bed on those days; my cheeks and pillow are usually wet.

I don’t know what to do with this pain. It’s been years now, and I still don’t know what to do with it. I’m still here –– this much I know. Therapy helps. Talking about it helps. Making pancakes in the middle of the night with friends, and hearing the leaves crunch under my feet, and when I realize I’m laughing so hard in a way I never thought I would laugh again –– those are the good things. Those are the things I cling to –– the things where Hope really is real and true. These moments aren’t the cheap kind of hope that people who are too scared to admit their own fear will try to bottle up and hand to you. No, this is the kind of hope that is real, the kind that whispers that even when you aren’t okay, you’ll be okay. 

Those scared people I mentioned will talk about pain, but they’ll talk about it with distance in the center. Maybe you’ll feel like you can’t relate to them because you’re still swimming neck deep in your own personal ocean of grief or pain or anxiety, or whatever it may be. I’m in my own ocean, too. I’m neck deep, too. And I’m here to say that those real and true Hope moments that are worth clinging to? They keep coming. And we get to keep holding on. We get to be here for it all.