Pain Changes Things…..

When I’m in pain, I don’t cry. I rarely ever cry. The last time I remember crying was when a friend of mine died suddenly of a heart attack about 5 months ago. I cried for a week. Before that, it was probably several years earlier when I saw one of those heart wrenching commercials about abused and homeless animals, the one where Sarah McLachlan sings the song about the arms of the angels. That type of thing can make me cry. But not much else. Before that commercial several years ago….I really can’t remember when I cried last. It had to be years before that. Years and years. I’m all cried out, I think.


Instead of crying, I get mad. I feel the anger rise up in me, almost equal to the physical pain I’m feeling. It’s like the mercury in a thermometer on a hot day. Or like when the steam builds in a tea pot. But sometimes the pain isn’t necessarily that screaming intense pain from a flare up….it might be just that annoying, aggravating every-day pain that is just on the edge of your conscious mind (I’m talking about chronic pain here)….the kind of pain that you are used to, after living with it for a long time, and it’s almost as if it is like something buzzing around your head….a fly, a gnat, just some annoying thing that is extremely distracting. Without even realizing it, that distracting, annoying, buzzing “thing” just gets on your nerves so bad after awhile, that before you even know what is happening, you suddenly lash out, you lose your temper over some seemingly small thing that doesn’t even have anything to do with that pain….and you think, What the hell? Why did I get so angry over such a small thing? Sometimes it takes me awhile to realize….it’s the pain. It’s the pain. It wasn’t that small thing….it was the PAIN.

Angry fist. Image shot 2009. Exact date unknown.

I always feel bad when I lash out, especially if it’s directed toward the nearest person, who is usually my husband. Afterwards, I start having all kinds of self-deprecating thoughts, like: what a bitch I am, how ungrateful and thoughtless and mean I am to treat my wonderful husband so harshly, how I wish I wasn’t so much like my dad who had a raging temper, and just generally hating myself.


But then sometimes I sit myself down and I think about my life. About how in the prime of my life, at about age 27, the shit hit the fan and I got sick. For two years the doctors ran tests, scratched their heads, and then when they couldn’t figure me out, decided I was making it all up and told me I was a liar. Then they changed their minds and told me Well okay you have fibromyalgia. Sorry, there’s no cure, and our treatment options basically suck. Bye! So then I was pretty much sent on my way with some literature about this mysterious “fibromyalgia” and some antidepressants and said Okay come back and see us in 6 months. From then on, I learned how to live with pain. Every day pain. All over pain. All the time. For 30 years.

And then I imagined if I was talking to a friend….someone else, who was telling me about this life of theirs and how hard it had been to go through all that stuff, before fibromyalgia was understood, or considered to be a valid diagnosis. When the docs would smirk at her or roll their eyes when she mentioned she had fibro after the diagnosis, when she was just going in for a blood pressure check or whatever. I imagined that if a friend of mine would have told me all that she went through then, and what she goes through now….I would have compassion, and I would understand why maybe my friend would fly off the handle a little more often than most people. I would understand when she slams doors, or throws a book or a pencil across a room, or yells out loud when she spills the milk. Who wouldn’t be angry?


And then I think about it a little longer, and then I take some deep breaths and give myself a little bit of a break, and some compassion. I realize how all that stuff from way back then…and all the stuff in between then and now….and all the stuff now….has all molded me into this person that I am today, and some of it is not pretty. I saw a sign once that said “Pain changes things”.  And I know it’s changed me. I often wonder what I would have been like if pain hadn’t entered my life all those years ago. Would I still be the same? I doubt it. I doubt it very much. Unfortunately, pain has changed the person I might have been into someone who is volatile and easily irritated and often angry. I try so hard to not let the anger control me. I want to be free of it. I hate it when I lash out at my dear husband. He doesn’t deserve it. I just don’t know how to turn it around.

I try to use humor to distract myself from the pain and the emotional upset. Much of the time it works like a charm. Laughter truly is good medicine. It turns things around and I get my perspective back. I’m so much like my dad in so many ways….not only did I inherit his quick hot temper, but also his wonderful sense of humor.

These days, I understand myself better. I know why I am the way I am. And although I don’t condone my anger, I realize that anyone….anyone who has gone through 30 years of “all this BS” would certainly be angry as well. No question about it.

I try not to fall into self-pity. It’s not a healthy thing and it’s not something that I want to nurture. But I do give myself a break when I start thinking and remembering the past 30 years….I have come to an understanding of why I am the way I am. Now the next challenge is to try to turn that anger into something constructive instead of destructive. Probably the biggest challenge of my life. I know it can be done if I put my mind to it. It’s time to let the bitterness go. I want to lay it down. Life is too short to be mad all the time. I’m sick of it. I want to be free. I hope I can release it so that I can have some peace, at last.

eyesclosed (2)


About teeks55

I'm a sleep deprived antique dealer with fibromyalgia, RA, diabetes & more. Love hubby, cats, books & humor! Avid tea drinker. Poker player. Pain fighter.
This entry was posted in Anger, Anger Management, Best Self, Bitterness, Challenges, Changes, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Clear Mind, Compassion, courage, Crying, Dealing With Doctors, Depression, Diagnosis, Emotions, Empowerment, Endometriosis, Endurance, Fibromyalgia, Flare Up, Focus, Forgiveness, Health, High Blood Pressure, Inner Strength, Irritability, joyful living, Life Journey, Life Path, Medical Community, Menopause, Osteoarthritis, Pain Scale, Peace, Plantar Fasciitis, Poor Vision, Sadness, Self Hate, Self Image, Self Love, Sleep Disorder, Stigma, Tendinitis, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pain Changes Things…..

  1. tlohuis says:

    I totally understand exactly what you are saying. I was about the same age when I started getting sick with the fibro, didn’t know how many other lovely illnesses that were right behind it. I cry all the time. I am a big cry baby, but I also get mad, angry, throw tantrums, throw things, literally, etc. On the other side of things, I also have a great sense of humor. No wonder people think I’m nuts. Crying one minute and laughing the next. Of course, the sicker I am, the more frustrated and mean I am. I don’t like being that way, it’s what this freakin’ pain, that most others don’t understand, does to you.
    I don’t know about you, but I hate spending so much time in bed. I absolutely hate it. This bout of fibro will be going on week 6, starting tomorrow. I see no end in sight and I’m getting more than frustrated with the whole situation. I can handle pain to a certain degree and for a certain amount of time, but 6 weeks, come on! I’ve already trashed my room twice during this episode and It’s still all over the floor so I don’t do it again. When I feel better and am in a better place, I know then that I won’t do it again. I hadn’t done anything like that since I was about 15. Sure did feel good, crazy as it might sound.
    I, too, am ready to turn this shit around. I don’t like behaving like this, but my emotions always get the best of me. I feel alone. I feel like no one understands, nor cares, for that matter. It’s not just the pain from the fibro. I have several chronic illnesses. I suffer with nausea almost every day. If I eat, it makes me sick. Thank you gastroparesis. People say you can get up and do something if you try. Well, I always say, so when you have the flu and your whole body aches and you feel like throwing up constantly, you are up out of bed doing what you need to be doing? They usually just sit there, with no response. I say that’s what I thought and that’s only a few of my daily symptoms. If the fibro would ease up and give me a little break, I could manage to do some things, they may not be big things, but enough to make me happy, to feel productive, to feel like I helped out, to feel like I’m worth a shit. It has to ease up at some point, well I guess it doesn’t have to, but it always does. I never know how much time I will get until it decides to flare up on me again, so I usually take full advantage of that time, in between.
    Just know that you are not alone. You are not crazy. You act just like everyone else I know with this dreaded disease. Through mindfulness and meditation, during the manageable time, when the fibro gives me a break, I am a much better person because I am able to practice mindfulness, breathing and meditation on a daily basis and it does keep me pretty grounded, for the most part. It’s harder for me to do these things when I’m in such misery because I can’t sit still, I can’t get comfortable, and blah, blah, blah, and you know the rest of the story.
    Good luck on your journey and try to remind yourself each day that this too shall pass. That’s my daily mantra and I’m still waiting…………………………….
    Peace and Hugs, my friend,
    Tammy 🙂
    I’m right here with you. We’re on the same journey, girl. Some way, some how, we got this!

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