Curious: how do deal with friends and your pain?

I am sure many people go through the same... I have a few wonderful people who are particularly close to me and see what I go through and are nothing but caring, sympathetic and helpful, but for the most part, even people I would consider to be good friends often brush my pain off and tell me 'it can't be that bad' or 'other people in the world have it worse' or 'you're just thinking like everyone, that you have it worse,' and also these people will be annoyed if i can't make it out to see them etc even though some days i physically cannot, and they just don't care really, and i think that's difficult to deal with. How to make people better understand I guess? Do you all deal with people like this too? Winds me up, when they have no idea how depressing it is and difficult to be in agonising pain 24/7.

27 Replies

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  • Yes I feel your same thing with people. I use to have boundless energy and now I am in pain most of the day and it's bad in the evening. I have become more of a loner because of it. Soon I will switch to a new pain Med. It has good reviews but it is powerful. I say be yourself and express yourself. If people brush you off or ignore your pain tell them it's serious and you would appreciate their consideration. I hope you get through it. It will take time but never lose hope. Your young pretty and smart. You have your whole life ahead of you

  • Put all your effort into those lovely caring people who are kind and sympathetic and feel a bit sorry for those who haven't the compassion to understand pain

    It's not worth getting wound up by them I'm always been a very sensitive person and got hurt but I've toughened up a bit since suffering with pain as its miserable and I don't NEED friends who can't care

    I don't mention my pain to those I know won't be sympathetic I even have one "friend" who laughs at me and makes jokes !!

    I always think what goes around comes around !

    Cherish the true friends in your life x

  • Hi Cat33, like yourself I have a 'good' friend who just doesn't get it although we meet every week. I have given up trying to explain so now I just don't discuss the subject with her. I am sure she thinks the reason I no longer go to work is because I'm plain lazy but I know that whatever I say to her will make no difference.

  • Hello Joy its strange isnt it how some friends can be Like you I just keep quiet with the ones who don't understand

    I have another friend who makes me feel guilty for being retired as she has knee pain but still goes into work

    Wishing you all the best x

  • Happens regularly but I am past caring now. I am grateful for the friends I have left and to heck with the others!!! :):):)

  • I know what you mean. I have lost family members because I am no longer any use to them. Stick with who sticks by you.

  • This when you find out who your friends are. They show their true colours. I agree with angiesmith50. Stick with who sticks with you. No One knows what you are going through, they are not exempt. I get from my mother in law 'I have an underactive thyroid and I'm OK' I think lucky you.

  • Haha well said

  • Hbpencil28 hi yes I totally understand its my family that don't understand I've been told to get a grip, youre going to become addicted to those painkillers, I know how you feel I've got a sore back as well it's so dam frustrating and angersome

  • Oh my gosh yes - certain family members act as if it is a competition, and it's ridiculous!

  • Oh that's really made me smile ! x

  • Yes i can also relate to this. Some people i know just don't understand what i go through having constant pain on a daily basis. I don't even bother telling the ones that don't anymore. I know who i can talk to and who i can't. I was always active before my health issues, had a social life, work and friends but found out who my real friends were when my health issues started, and who i couldn't rely on anymore. Work weren't even interested in my health issues and the numerous operations i had. They just wanted me back at work. I remember when i had one of my operations, about 3 days later i received a phone call from my boss asking me when i would be reurning to work! This itself was so inconsiderate. Needless to say, i have not returned because of all my health issues and even if i was fit to go back, there is no way i would, as i didn't have any support from my workplace whatsoever! I wouldn't get wound up about it, it doesn't do you any good as it stresses you out. I find my pain levels go through the roof when i get too stressed, so try to avoid certain situations. You will find alot of support on this forum and people on here understand. I am so glad i found this forum.

  • Hi I have lost touch with most friends I had before chronic pain. I find I isolate myself rather than explain myself. It is hard to explain fully to a non sufferer through no fault of anyone's as much as they try to get it they don't. That is why this site is so important. Living with constant pain is tiring and stressful so try to rise above negative comments. Only chronic pain sufferers fully get it, because only we can. Managing my pain is difficult and unpredictable and takes priority over a social life, my family know if I cannot do something it is with good reason. I

  • You sound like me! I liked your reply. It made me feel I am still human. xx

  • Hello hbpencil123, yes I have the same problem as you. I have had Chronic pain for 37 years now and over that time have lost friends. I still have the few faithful friends who have stuck by me. It's often the friends you thought really cared about you that seem to disappear. At one time this really upset me but after all these years I don't worry about it any more. I still have my family and the few who have stuck by me. Have also made a few and I mean a few new good friends. It's hard because we are still the same person inside and we need our friends.

  • couldn't agree more! It's so difficult when all you get is complete dismissal or even an attempt at one-upping you from friends... makes me lose faith in humanity a little! And exactly! we are the same people inside, we are just struggling with what we are having to deal with. I know personally I have more of a short fuse and i get irritated more easily and cry at the drop of a hat, but it's only due to being worn down more and more by the never-ending pain... I don't want to be like that, and I need people to realise that, and know that i need support, and not chastising and ignoring and dismissing... I guess it does show you the people who are worth sticking it out with though.

  • One of the things I find most annoying is when someone complains about a pain in their big toe or something really trivial. I know I should feel sorry but do find on a bad day I will say something like "oh lucky you". I do not mean to be unkind it just comes out! Also find the oneupmanship annoying. Someone will ask how I am to which I will reply "fine, how are you" and then get a books worth from them ias to what is wrong with them! Am terribly sympathetic if someone is really ill it's the trivia that gets me. I have turned into a horrible person at times and hate myself for it. It's just sad.

  • I completely get this! And you're not a horrible person at all - it's impossible to not get irritated by this sort of thing when we face all this horrendous pain on a daily basis and basically deal with it in silence, and then someone feels the need to dramatise and then try and 'compete' if you will,over symptoms and pain... I am quite the same... I can't help but snap sometimes... like, oh boo - hoo, you twisted your ankle, you'll be struggling for a few days at most, this is my life! I am sure you're a lovely person, and I hope one day something will help the pain so you don't feel like this. JUst remember, you're a wonderful person, and any human being would get frustrated by this.

  • I hate it when I see things that need doing around the house but my pain is at its worse. The frustration and feelings of uselessness I experience are so upsetting. I hate my children knowing the pain I am in but i try to explain now I used to try to hide away. I had a good job more money and a social life before chronic pain. I now have no job little money but children who get it and capable of showing true compassion. The friends that have stood by me are worth ten of my old glory drinking buddies. People either understand or they don't I don't think half measures count, daily pain is part of the person I am. Iam not separate therefore you understand or you find a friend without chronic pain.

  • I totally agree with everything you have said, and I am sorry you're going through this, though I have to say I think you're really brave for being honest with your family. Feeling useless is the worst... seeing friends and people I knew doing all sorts, things that I could have and should have been doing... and what am I doing? struggling to get out of bed and crying and all that sort of thing... It makes me hate myself a little for 'taking for granted' stuff like just being able to go out with friends for as long as i wanted, being able to sit somewhere for hours... I just can't do it any more, and it seems like most people can do it, and it hurts. I am glad you have found some friends who have stuck by you though, and your children sound wonderful! odd how kids can be more capable of kindness and understanding than adults sometimes... Keep going; whatever you may feel, I promise you, you are not useless in the slightest, you have utmost worth as a person, even if you can't much, or even anything at all. Though I don't know you, you're clearly a wonderful parent! X

  • I hate it too when I see my house get shabbier and shabbier. I used to do everything myself and even now will think I will do some decorating or cleaning only to spend days not able to do a thing. My husband Bill is so kind but he does not do things as I used to do. I feel utterly useless a lot of the time. Your children sound great as are mine. We just want so much to be able to do things for them not them for us all the time. Frustration is awful and I hate myself for it. xx

  • I understand your frustrations, but it's really great that you keep having that motivation and want to do things, even if it ultimately turns out that you can't do what you want to in the end. I am glad to hear you have the support of a family, and I know they love you all the same, and I am sure you're still a wonderful mother. You couldn't not be to have wonderful kids and a husband like that. Keep going, and remember you are doing so great. So many people just give up, with circumstances that aren't even as bad or permanent as this, so be proud that you are still fighting. xx

  • Thank you my children although the eldest is 20yr are wonderful people I think it hurt them more when they were shut out. I am sorry you too feel or have felt useless it is horrible. I also suffer from depression which makes things worse when my pain is bad. I have a five year old and hearing him playing out with his brothers and running round with his dad, when I am in bed sucks! I have five children 20,19,17,15 and 5. When the others were little I was well and ran riot parks farms swimming, playgroups etc. I have had to be a different mum to Harry one who sits and draws reads stories or do a jigsaw. Different to before but no less a mother for it. Thing I did before were before now I do not linger on what ifs. I look forward to good days and try to get through the bad. Remember we are not lazy but in pain no we cannot do things like we used to, so learn thing we can be well x

  • They all sound lovely, and I am sure Harry very much enjoys doing those things with you, and loves you all the same. You're doing everything you can by keeping going and by being so positive and looking forward to the good days. And yes! It's nice to be reminded that it is not laziness. If i ever got better I would be leaping around everywhere to make up for all this lost time. Here's hoping that day will come for both us. X

  • I understand your frustration it is like a cycle though frustration anger sadness and then negative feelings. I have learnt to have small victories sometimes starting with getting up and dressed !! I agree totally you want to do things for you kids but I think they only learn positive things from helping out. Hope you are having a good day xx

  • Very much so. And yes, it is the small things sometimes! And kudos to you for keeping on going. Very true, and it seems like your kids have a very positive role model from you despite these circumstances. Thank you, I hope you are too xx

  • XIt was suggested to us at a pain clinic that when people ask after you,,instead of giving an answer which others consider to be " moaning" you answer thus: I am fine but my leg/back is very sore,so I cannot come to ?today.

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