I have not been writing lately. Or doing much of anything. The house has been hovering at an unacceptable cleanliness level (according to my standards) for about 7 months. It would be fun to say that I’ve been busy planning an amazing vacation to Aruba, or painting the bedroom that has been on my “to do” list for 3 years. But that’s not true.
I’ve been in chronic pain.
In the past I’ve dealt with migraines and managed to settle on a system where I could still be a mom and finagle the pain. But, the pain I’ve had these last months is something from a different level. Somehow I managed to get bursitis and frozen shoulder at the same time. I’ve given people the cold shoulder, but this is different. There is little range of motion and excrutiaing pain when I move my arm too high.
I can spare you the details because part of when someone is in pain, at least for me, is that we don’t want to burden others with something they can do nothing about. There is a helpless feeling already when one’s body is not cooperating so when it comes to explaining a pained expression or to bow out of an athletic activity, sometimes it’s just easier to smile and nod.
But is this really ok?
Shouldn’t we bear one another’s burden’s and help each other out? So often I have wanted to cry out to someone and tell them how badly I hurt. How I can’t lift my arm to wash the top of my head, blow dry my hair, drive for long distances (not good for a soccer mom), or pull up my pants. I wish I could tell people how I am woken up in the night with pain shooting down my arm and piercing my shoulder so I stay awake for hours. Then I get out of bed in the morning (after not sleeping), start my day and try to look like I’m not in pain. Lots of coffee and mascara help.
What is the right response when you don’t want to be a complainer, but you need help?
Many people suffer in silence when in pain. Whether physical, emotional, financial, spiritual….no one wants to be a burden or “that” person who is whiny. But, how can we learn compassion and how to help others if we don’t sometimes share our weakness and let down our guard. By being vulnerable we can build a bridge to another and show them that it’s ok to ask for help, to hurt, to cry and to take time to heal.
Just the other day the Lord gently reminded me that pain is one of His specialties. He felt it, experienced it and He can definitely handle mine. He can handle yours too.