Friday, August 2, 2013

Chronic Pain Made Me a Party Pooper

Party pooper: that's me. No matter the situation I always feel like I'm bringing people down, disappointing them or just being a big ol' bummer. 

Whenever people try to make small talk with me at a party they find themselves awkwardly trying to respond to my unexpected situation. Even those who already know my situation keep expecting me to be suddenly better and again have to fight through the awkwardness of not knowing what to do or say around me when they learn that I'm not better. 

When I get invited by friends or family to get together I can't respond with the traditional excited acceptance or disappointed explanation of prior commitments. I always want to see friends and family but I need to take a few moments to consider the timing, the environment and circumstances before I can accept or decline. I know that these hesitations makes it seem like I'm not interested but that's never the case. I just can't answer right away. 

Even if I am able to make the plans I can't guarantee that I'll be able to actually follow through. Even if I am able to follow through I can't guarantee I won't have to leave early. Even if I am able to stick it out I can't guarantee that my mind will cooperate with conversations or that I'll be able to fully participate in the festivities. I can't drink. I don't eat meat. I'm always nauseated. I'm always in pain. I have Migraine Resting Face. I can't take loud noises, bright lights, strong odors and extreme temperatures. I no longer have the energy for small talk or large crowds. 

Most disturbingly, those closest to me, who try their hardest to understand my limitations, still have to deal with the disappointment of wanting to go and do with me and me not feeling up to it. I traveled all the way to Wisconsin to visit with my mom just a couple weeks ago, but after that big trip I wasn't able to do much of anything but hang out. As much as she says it's fine, I can tell that she was disappointed and a little frustrated that we couldn't do more. 

There is no way around it, I'm a party pooper, a wet blanket, a big ol' bummer. I hate being those things. I hate that I'm not dependable and fun. Guilt has become a dark shadow over most of my social interactions and I hate that most of all. 

Do you ever feel like this? How do you deal with it?

1 comment:

  1. Chronic pain is unpredictable in the sense that it will be present but each day can vary on the degree of pain. It is very hard for people to understand how one suffers every day and Doctor's have not been able to figure out how to help the individual. I just think individuals who "never" suffered can wrap their brain around the whole concept of being "in pain" everyday. Then friends/family run out of things to say! They try offering solutions such as, "Have you tried acupuncture or a Chiropractor?", a strong pain pill, a massage, less stress, etc......whether to make conversation or try to get our hopes up....they just do not know what more they can say.

    Then when they say things like, "Well, maybe it will do you some good to get out the house and socialize!".....again, they have no clue. I have come to the point of being blunt..."Look, it's not going to make me feel better, it is what it is and I got to find a way to deal and cope. Trust me, if I feel up to it...I will call and try to socialize. So if I am a Party be it! I am not going to make myself MORE miserable by pushing myself to socialize for the sake of making a friend/family member actually feel like I am making an effort to better my situation when I know in the end...being in my house was the right option.

    Sure there is lots of disappointment but only we know each of our limitations and if others are pissed b/c we "cannot make it".... they can get over it. I think having problems with headaches has made me more blunt over the years. Sort of an attitude of: THIS IS ME, TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT!