Pain is a weird, wicked thing. It takes it out of you, your spirit, when otherwise you’re feeling just fine. It kills your soul, and your heart. And every time someone asks, “are you okay?” you must answer “yes,” but only because “In Pain” is a default setting, one that sounds like a broken record. I imagine people with chronic pain answer that way a lot, always hoping the asker will recognize the truth and acknowledge it. The correct answer, I think, would be, “I know you’re not. But it’s going to be okay. And in the meantime, I’m right here. You’re not alone.”
I believe people who hurt inside would value these words as well. Those with pain you can’t see, no matter how closely you look. These people can’t tell the truth either. Because no one wants to hear, “no I’m not okay” every time they ask. Pain is weird, and it is wicked. You want to be stronger than the pain; you don’t want it to keep you down and get the best of you. Because inside of you somewhere there still exists a fighter, however weak he or she may become. And some days you feel stronger than others. Some days you win. Your smile dazzles and the deep breaths come easy. You’re happy in spite of the pain.
But then some days, sometimes, you just can’t move. And you’re as frustrated with yourself as you are with the pain. You beat yourself up over idleness, because being still is the only thing that feels okay. You wish it didn’t have to be this way. You wish you were stronger, better. In the end sometimes, the pain will win.
Unless you ask for help, I suppose. Then you might stand a fighting chance. Because no one, no matter how great a fighter, can take on these kinds of things alone. It takes, I think, an even greater strength to recognize weakness and succumb to it. To reach out for the support you are currently unable to lend yourself.
Sometimes we can beat the pain. And in those times we can’t, we must ask for help. Even it’s only to hear someone say, “I know you’re not okay. But you will be. And in the meantime, I’m right here. You are not alone.”