How Chronic Pain Ages You

 
Image Credit: © Kelsey Rein

Image Credit: ©Kelsey Rein

“Ugh, I feel so old”, said a twenty year old.

That statement can be heard from many young adults, this writer included. I have heard many people say, “Oh quit complaining, you are so young” or, “Oh to be young again” and even, “When I was your age…” …get the picture?

 

There are many different reasons as to why young adults feel this way and sometimes it can be out of pure laziness, but my reason along with thousands of others is chronic pain.

Here are five ways that being a chronic pain warrior can make anyone feel aged:

1) Being in constant pain

When you are in pain non-stop it can make you feel like you can’t do anything. Sometimes even going to the bathroom can make you feel like you are going to pass out from pain and exhaustion. There are moments where I think a cane would make it easier to move from the heaviness I feel when I walk.

2) Lack of sleep

With constant pain comes its other half: lack of sleep. And then the vicious cycle begins. We all have anxiety. Besides my everyday anxiety, my nightly anxiety is magnified due to the fact that I know I won’t sleep well because I can’t find a comfortable position. When you don’t get sleep, the pain usually follows. When you have pain, you don't sleep. See what I mean about these two causing trouble for a person?

3) Feeling tired can be from walking a short distance

One thing that I have noticed is that ever since I started having chronic pain, I have been having trouble walking long distances. One day I was able to walk a certain distance and the next day I could barely walk a quarter of what I did the day before. It was all downhill after that. A lot of people who are like me feel the same way, but we deal because it’s our new normal.

4) It’s hard to stay out late

I was never a big partier in college, but I especially wasn’t after everything that has happened to cause my chronic pain. It can be hard to be a twenty-one year old watching your friends do as they please - everything from going out to bars or walking all over the mall to basically just living their best life when you are just trying to get through your day. It doesn’t make being or feeling young any easier.

5) Tight clothing is a thing of the past

I will look through Facebook and see girls wearing the cutest tight clothes to go out and for the most part, that is not me. I am the one that wears jeans and a sweater. My favorite outfit when I’m at home is sweatshirts with a messy bun and sweatpants because they don’t bother my legs. I would rather stay home in my bed most times than go out because I know what will happen for the next several days if I wear the cutest clothes I long to wear.

Society likes to dictate how people at any age should be living their lives, but most of the time they don’t take into consideration how everyone is different and not everyone can do what they are “supposed” to do. I say don’t listen to what society has to say and listen to your own body because it’s okay to not to be like everyone else. If there is one thing you can learn from this, let it be to listen to your body because YOU are the one who has to live with the personal decisions you make for your body.