This is something I wrote to myself a little while ago. It’s a little different from what I usually post because I didn’t write it with the intent of sharing it, but I hope it is something you can relate to or learn from!
It’s hard to wake up in pain.
It’s hard to fall asleep in pain.
It’s hard to concentrate, and take tests, and write papers in pain.
It’s hard to sit at a dinner table in pain.
It’s hard to be social, have a conversation, or even be around other people when you’re in pain.
It’s hard to have energy when it hurts all the time.
It’s hard to say “no” to someone or something because of pain.
It’s hard to believe that you aren’t crazy or making it up.
It’s hard to be around people who don’t understand the way you feel.
It’s hard to feel like you have to justify your pain to everyone else.
It’s hard. It’s really, really hard to be in pain.
Especially when it doesn’t go away.
But it’s ok to think it’s hard. Because I can do hard things.
For a long time, I wouldn’t let myself say that things were hard for me. I thought that if I admitted something wasn’t easy, I was weak. When I thought about my chronic pain, I told myself I was “handling things,” but all I really did was pretend that they were always fine, even when they weren’t.
So when the new year rolled around and I reflected on myself, I realized I wasn’t handling things; I was hiding them. I was pretending everything was easy because I was afraid of admitting that some things are hard.
In this new year, I’m allowing myself to recognize hard things. Because saying that something is hard is not the same as giving up.
This year, we’re all going to experience hard things. Maybe they carry over from years past, or maybe they’re new and unexpected. But we don’t have to pretend those hard things aren’t there.
It’s okay to say “it’s hard.” Because we can do hard things.