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Accepting Chronic Pain And Accepting Myself

If you have chronic pain, you know it SUCKS, but I had to remember I was more than my struggle.

Photo by: Joyce Mccown

In the 7th grade, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis, which meant my spine was crooked instead of straight. On top of my crooked spine, I developed back pain that got increasingly worse over the years, especially during high school.

No matter how uncomfortable I was there always seemed to be an excuse for my discomfort like, “It’s probably just my backpack,” or “You’re bending over all day at work.”

It wasn’t until I was almost 19 that I was finally diagnosed with a pain disorder called Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome.

Over time, the physical pain became mental as well. I was losing touch with myself and who I was beyond the pain, it was hard to feel like life could be anything more.

Pain made me feel disconnected from my friends, and more importantly, myself.

My pain made me feel so separated from my friends. They tried to understand me, but there’s only so much empathy can do. Unless you deal with chronic pain, it’s hard for people to imagine what I experience on a day to day basis.

I didn’t feel normal, and I felt like a burden

Telling my friends I couldn’t hang out, or that I needed to go home early, took a large toll on my mental health. I was so afraid the people I loved wouldn’t understand that my pain affected every aspect of my life.