Chronic pain has the ability to hold a person hostage, ripping them from what brought happiness to their life. Those who suffer want to break free from that which holds them hostage, being free to revel in the beauty of life.
Chronic pain is usually defined as any pain continuing for more than three to six months. Often the emotional impact of chronic pain is pushed to the wayside.
However, chronic pain has a tremendous influence over a person’s mood, thoughts, and even behaviors. Often it is not the physical pain and suffering that is the most difficult part of living with chronic illness, it’s the emotional complications that come with it. Those suffering from chronic pain may isolate intentionally or unintentionally due to their physical ability to partake in what are considered to be “every day” activities.
Living with chronic pain and illness is an ambiguous loss. It is common for those suffering to move through the grief cycle because chronic illness invariably means experiencing many losses. Individuals are walking down a line, which divides their past and future. When they look backward they see everything the diagnosis has taken away from them or forced them to relinquish. Looking forward they are unable to anything quite clearly. Ultimately, there is no going back to the past, and the future is all too uncertain.
So, to those suffering from chronic pain or another invisible illness hear this, I believe you.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” – 1 Peter 5:10 –
Kayla is completing her Masters of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN after obtaining her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Winona State University. Kayla’s professional experience has included personal growth counseling with college students, inpatient counseling with adolescents, as well as adult clients. As an intern, Kayla uses a framework of cognitive behavioral therapy, Gestalt therapy, and family systems.
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