Pain sucks. And chronic pain sucks chronically. If I were asked to give a speech about pain to a room full of strangers, after my introduction I would say these two sentences and then sit back down. I’m trying to imagine the individual who would either disagree or not appreciate the weight of my statements.

There’s a reason men are told to walk softly and carry a big chocolate bar. There’s a reason why we leave people alone suffering from a migraine. There’s a reason we look away or cringe when we witness someone get injured or feel sympathy for someone using a cane or crutches. Pain is the best reason to be and stay cautious and attentive. It’s also a really good reason to submit to the fairer sex, to whisper to someone with a headache, or think twice about that awesome idea one just cooked up (especially if alcohol was the motivator).

Those suffering from chronic pain can have somewhat of a mean streak. We tend to get tired of our situation, and those who tire easily tend to be cranky. But it goes a lot deeper than just being tired of pain. Our every action is dampened because of pain, everything is flat out “less”. Our ability to cope, deal with change, and what we enjoy or find fun or funny is “less”. Patience goes right out the window too. If you can’t understand this – don’t try, it sucks as well.

I don’t enjoy writing this particular blog. I’m reminded of all the times I snapped at someone because pain was oozing out of my pores. If I saw Winnie the Pooh I would have had a few choice words for his idiotic blunders when obsessing, searching and finding honey. It doesn’t matter how many times I explain or apologize, in my mind I am a complete arse. And even though I have friends who suffer and I have no issue with their cranky moments, I’m still an arse.

In the moments after my arse exhibition I ask myself what could I have done differently. I really don’t know and here’s why: it was all fun. Either I was having fun doing something really stupid, or doing something really stupid to not feel the emotions or think the thoughts running uncontrollably through me. I knew for a long time that my antics would catch up, that I would have to pay the Piper, and the bill wouldn’t be cheap. I knew.

My antics are my own and the price I pay is mine alone to bear. This blog isn’t about telling you how to live, lord knows I wouldn’t listen either. Rather it’s about being aware of our choices and decisions. It’s about acknowledging that everything comes at a cost. It’s about being accountable to ourselves and accepting responsibility for our actions.

My accountability, the bill I still pay, and all of the scars, aches, spasms, tingling, shooting and burning, was worth it. Shocking but true. I’m not going to dredge up my past, no one needs to hear it and I have no desire to relive it. So let’s just say I play the cards dealt me, and I play them brilliantly.

E.T. Aka Annie