People often want the soft lies. That you are doing well. Better than yesterday. You are coping well. That you can handle it. That things get better. It isn’t that bad. It is a good day. You are just dealing with it. It eases them to know you can cope.
And we want to give those soft lies. We don’t want them to worry. We don’t want to hear the truth from our own lips, to feel the heaviness of it. We want the lie, to make it real. Fake it till you make it.
They can’t handle the truths. Or you don’t want them to even have a glimpse of the truth.
That at times you really struggle to cope.
It isn’t better than yesterday.
Sometimes you really cannot handle it at all.
Things do not get better.
And you are not doing well.
These are just truths because this isn’t a fun ride. It isn’t an easy life. Coping isn’t finding acceptance and going ‘ah, now I won’t suffer’. That coping is a process, and at times… at times we are not coping well. At times it is a real struggle.
The truth is it is difficult. Even when we accept that this pain is going to be our lives and we cope and deal with the life we have… we still are struck with really bad pain days and really bad coping days.
If we were to tell them about the really dark times that come with chronic pain, they would, of course, worry. If we were to tell them that every day is a struggle, they would sympathize but not quite understand. If we were to tell them this life is complicated, difficult and just because we accept this is the life we have doesn’t make it an easy one to live. And sometimes we feel the pain consumes our very lives until little of it actually remains. Sometimes the pain consumes a day and nothing remains except that pain we have to crawl through.
Soft lies protect our loved ones from the darker side of chronic pain. The side we fight against. The side we grip onto hope fiercely so the pain doesn’t win. The side that comes out because pain and suffering eat at a person and we can’t always be comfortable with that reality. Everything we do is to survive that suffering. And we meditate, exercise, avoid triggers, change our diet, and do whatever we can to survive the suffering. We stick to our routines. Take our medications… when we can. Constantly, repetitively doing the things we hope will help us endure just a little bit better. This day, the next day. Because we are strong. Because we need to endure. Because if we don’t the pain may consume us whole. Or we slip into that dark depression that says this existence isn’t worth living.
So we get up. We start over. We move carefully. Gently in the world that overloads us. Do our routines. Hope the pain isn’t too severe and we don’t lose all the day. Hope the symptoms are not too severe that we are too sick. Hope it is manageable on some level so we can ever so gently Be. And we softly say, ‘better than yesterday’ wishing we could hide in the darkness.
I’ll give you soft lies, so you don’t worry. I’ll give myself soft lies, so maybe I’ll believe them.