“Pain is always new to the sufferer, but loses its originality for those around him.”
Pain for us is a constant, fresh, acute experience that impacts us every minute, second of the day. Every day, week, month, decade… onward. It is IMPACTFUL. Important. Because we have to cope with it constantly. Deal with it. Work around it, through it, live with it. I cannot think of a thing in this world that impacts me as much in this life. And pain is always new to the sufferer.
But, it does in fact, lose its originality for those around us. We don’t choose to talk about it often. Because it is our everyday experience. But when we mention it on a bad day… it is just a thing. A thing they have heard before. It has lost its IMPACT for them. You always have pain. Saying you have pain… you always have pain. So, yeah, so? It is not fresh, new, acute, impactful for them.
They do not know we mention it when it is significantly worse. And it is bothering us to a degree it is had to function through. And we want them to understand that.
We think they don’t understand us or our experience, from their lacklustre response to pain that is quite intense for us. And they don’t. Because to them it is a Thing About Us. Not a Thing Happening to Them. It is a Fact to know about us. Not an Experience. They don’t know our intensity. The severity of it. The good days. The bad days. Non-functional pain vs. functional pain. Intolerable pain vs tolerable pain.
They just hear we are having a lot of pain again. Again, again. And that doesn’t require anything of them, because we always do. Nothing to be done about it, is there?
I think often when I hear this quote how very true that it is. How my experience is very much a live, lived experience and that cannot be communicated or shared. It just becomes a fact about me people know, but have no real interest in hearing about or when they hear about it, it is just like I am telling them that fact. They don’t have the emotional connection to the experience that I do as the sufferer.
I think, for the most part, this is fine. Most people do not matter. Not really. Do I care co-workers have no vested interested in my pain management? No. I don’t. That they do not understand what I go through to cope? No. Not at all. The only people that matter are our loved ones and support system. Who we hope to some degree understands the struggle pain is and the impact it has had on our lives and how difficult it is for us to deal with. Because everyone needs some support sometimes. And it is a hard battle to have to deal with without someone having your back.