1347. There is a loneliness in this world so great that you can see it in the slow movement of the hands of a clock. ~Charles Bukowski

Of pain you could wish only
one thing: that it would stop.
Nothing in the world is so
bad as physical pain.
In the face of pain there are no heroes.
~George Orwell

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This is not a plea for sympathy. Nor is it a cry for help, nor a need for response, nor an abandonment of hope for better days. Instead it is a bid for understanding of a place where some have never been, at least not for very long, a place that has to be believed to be felt because chronic pain comes with a terrible price and aching loneliness. Because I’ve lost another whole day of my life to the chronic pain that has dogged my days since I was 25 years old, I’ve been struggling to cope and understand as well as to find the strength to endure both the pain and the aloneness of it. In doing so I remembered that several of my followers fight the same battle every day of their lives too. And so tonight I wanted to try to explain the double-edged sword of pain in hopes that readers would try to understand how hard a battle it is. As Orwell, said there are no heroes, unless they be the ones whose compassion encourages a willingness to believe and stand by the sufferer’s side. Below is an excerpted, edited, and adapted article written by Dr. David Biro whose words are the best I’ve found so far in describing what the battle of chronic pain is truly like.

“Part of what makes pain ‘painful’ is its privacy and unsharability, the feeling of aloneness. “Nothing is quite so isolating,” writes Robert Murphy ‘as the knowledge that when one hurts, nobody else feels the pain…’ This under-appreciated feature (to an outsider, that is) is especially true for pain that persists, chronic versus acute pain. When one breaks a bone, the pain can be excruciating and isolating for hours or days, but once it lets up, one can return to the intrinsically social being that defines our species. When the pain goes on for months or years, it becomes more and more difficult to reintegrate oneself into a world that has no idea what a long-term sufferer has been experiencing. That kind of pain causes a rupture because it inverts normal perspective. Instead of reaching out to other people in work or play, people with chronic pain turn inward and become self protective which is an instinctive, understandable response. Something is wrong inside and so they must attend and focus on the threat and make sure it doesn’t get any worse. But while the pain inside looms large for the person experiencing it, it is often invisible to the person viewing it from the outside be it a a doctor, a sibling, a spouse, or a friend. Even when they see something wrong on the surface of the body, a bleeding wound for example, they don’t ‘see’ the pain, which in their mind may or may not be as severe as the person claims. And when there is nothing to see on the surface, in the case of migraine or neuropathic pain, their doubt only increases. Even if the outsider believes the sufferer, it is difficult for him/her to imagine what it’s like or how severe it is (how easily the pain-free forget past pains); or at times, the outsider simply doesn’t want to hear about the pain over and over again because what’s extremely important to the victim is not so important to the observer. Thus when one combines a sufferer who intensely feels his pain with an outsider who can’t see or feel it at all, the result is a widening of the normal barrier that exists between people. And as a result a great wall suddenly springs up even though the sufferer may be surrounded by the people he/she loves most in the world. That’s when the sufferer might as well be on another planet where his/her screams cannot be heard nor the tears seen nor the anguish felt. For an outsider is simply incapable of having any idea of what’s happening on the sufferer’s side of the wall, a place where the utter aloneness can hurt as much as the physical pain itself.”

“Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved; and if I refrain, it does not go away.” ~Job 16:6  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

44 thoughts on “1347. There is a loneliness in this world so great that you can see it in the slow movement of the hands of a clock. ~Charles Bukowski

  1. Oh, Natalie, I have never dealt with this, but my heart does ache for you. I think its a wonderful read for the of us that have not walked this road. I also kept thinking how much those same words could be used for mental illness. Again, having only dealt with this extraneously, but its isolation and lack of visual recognition for outsiders to develop understanding rings similar. I hope you are feeling better tomorrow or at least feeling more connected to those of us who do care for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this glimpse into the experience of chronic pain. For me, it’s important to remember that I don’t have to fix another person’s pain and that it’s okay to just be as understanding and accepting as I can. I hope that’s right.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know what you are going through. I do with my back and even to the point of some people thinking I was faking the pain to get out of work or doing something. It is sad that they can’t feel the pain even for a few seconds. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sweet lady, I can relate…I’m so sorry that you face this constant and nagging companion that may decide not to be as intense as yesterday, but rest assured it will be present daily… it is hard to understand some days and I agree that others can not identify with what the sufferer goes through because there is no possible way for them to understand the real extent of the pain and the limitations that it brings with it …I not only have suffered the physical changes from back and neck issues, but the loss of my business that I could no longer perform as needed…yes, pain has a real way to upset our daily lives, BUT the one thing that can make us feel better is the hope of heaven and how we will have new bodies and be pain free…NOW that’s something to look forward to isn’t it🙂👀
    Take heart my dear sweet blogger buddy, whether family can or can’t identify with us, we know that God knows all about our pain and struggles and one day we will know them no more…until then we can try to be a witness of His love although we may be hurting…and that could be a real testimony to someone😬❤
    Hang in there🌹❤ And keep on inspiring others…🤓

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m a day late and a dollar short Nat—as I’ve been living on the road—but I am sorry you are hurting…I’ll ramp up my prayers—or better yet—add you into the constant conversation God and I are having in the car while I stay on the road as I’m back and forth now to dad every other day….
    prayers for endurance my friend!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey with all you’ve got in your no worries sweet Julie‼️ Thanks so much for the prayers my friend and give the Lord my regards in those conversations will ya❣️😘🐔🌵 ps I’ve been much better today so your prayers worked😍

      Like

  6. Thanks for posting this, a real look into the world of chronic pain with the perfect quote to describe it. Interesting to state clearly that pain from an injury, although extremely painful will eventually heal, however, chronic pain is felt for days or months or years or a lifetime. I reblogged. Hugs. Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So touching and powerful. People don’t understand just because you can not see what another person is going through, doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering. Pain isn’t always visible but pain definitely always hurts. And when no one cares or shows concern the loneliness cuts like a sword in your heart.
    Great post hugs and love sweet Natalie

    Liked by 1 person

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