I’m changing my blog site, I like this site better. It’s simple.
People have no idea what it’s like to not be able to do the simple things in life that bring you joy, or not even be able to picture ever hiking a mountain because the pain is too much pain to do something physical. Lately a label that has been attached to me has been popping up again. I guess a lot of women get labeled an addict when they have an invisible illness…because for some reason doctors and people don’t take women’s pain seriously. What sucks is it is a label with a lot of hateful stigma. It is a label that can ruin someone’s reputation. It is a label that stays with someone for life.
She says it better:
“When you say I’m an addict, it tells me you have no understanding or compassion for the disaster that my life has become. You make light of the monster that has stolen my life from me, that has taken my tough self and turned it to mush, that makes want to crawl into bed and stay there, that makes me seriously question the value of living.
I don’t know how I can explain myself when you doubt this essential element of my existence.
Yes, I take my pain medication “to feel better”, but I feel better because the pain is lessened, not because I get some euphoric “high”. Anyone would feel bliss when long-standing pain is reduced, when the barrier to the enjoyment of life is lifted even temporarily.”
There was at time when I was taking pain medication daily for my pain, and then I was convinced that I was an addict and everything was all in my head. So I stopped taking them, went to counseling, yet…there was still a big problem. I’m still in pain…what do I do about that now? I couldn’t get through the days. I did crappy things at this point; I was left out in the cold, and didn’t know what to do. I did what I needed to, to get through, I self medicated, I was lost, confused, and in a lot of pain…and in a lot of ways really alone in that pain, because no one understood….I didn’t even understand.
I have finally found a doctor that is not okay covering up issues with pain killers but she is also not blind to the fact that because of my Interstitial Cystitis and Migraines, I am in extreme pain. After the exam she described my entire pelvic area as cramped up like a charlie horse and just contracting tightly. The doctor has many approaches and specializes in these issues and I am very excited to work with her and to get my body to feeling maybe normal? Then the stupid accident. I don’t even know why I left, I was panicked. He was screaming at me and scared the crap out of me and cars were honking their horn and I got overwhelmed because I have panic issues so I can only assume my fight/flight took over, and flight won. I mean, those who know me…I’ve been in plenty of accidents, I know how to do the exchanging information bit.
“With her ceaseless pain, she can barely drive, can’t clean house, can’t walk the dog, can’t garden, can’t tolerate standing or sitting still to socialize. She lies awake with pain like I do, but without pain medication she gets hardly any sleep at all, and that only adds to the misery.
I can’t believe you’d want me to live like that.
I realize I can never prove my pain and will have to spend the rest of my life dealing with people like you, who think I’m an addict. I even have a medical diagnosis for what’s causing my pain, but since it’s invisible, you still refuse to believe it’s serious enough to require medication.
It’s terribly demeaning that you imagine I’ve “chosen” to live like this.
It’s like trying to live with one foot nailed to the floor, not just for me, but for many others too. Just because you’re lucky enough to have a healthy, strong, and resilient body, you choose to believe everyone else has the same resources and luck. You can’t even imagine what kind of physical misery is possible, but I live it every day.
I could send you dozens of scientific articles I’ve collected to prove my point about the severity of pain arising from my condition and the danger of leaving it uncontrolled in the long term, but I know you don’t want to hear about it–your mind is made up and seems to be firmly shut on this topic.
How convenient to write off a friend’s suffering as a self-induced “addiction”.
It’s emotionally painful for me to around people who insist that I’m making up or exaggerating the pain I have to live with. Already beaten down by my circumstances, I’m exceptionally vulnerable to emotional pain as well.
I start questioning the value of living like this, and that starts me on a downward spiral of depression. With pain grinding away at my emotional resilience, I lack the strength to defend myself against your accusations…
So, does telling you how I feel about being called an addict make any difference at all? I guess I’ll find out if you do it again – please don’t.”
*Thank you to those who reached out to me this week. It really means a lot…”