17 thoughts on “Why Pain is so Lonely

  • July 27, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Thank you for writing abt this. Its one of my biggest challenges for living w chronic pain. And one that I find many clients struggle with and I don’t always have effective suggestions to help other than to stay connected w larger groups of people to socialize w locally like meeting groups and the like. Then stay connected to others w pain too. The empathy is there and those friends are less likely to go away. I push myself, set reasonable time limits on things, and look to make the most of each social interaction 🙂 I am interested to hear ideas from others!

  • July 27, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    good article….illness or physical pain surely does contribute to feelings of chronic loneliness…or did my loneliness become my pain?
    I’ve tried several ways to break out of my habit of preferring to stay home, or work in the garden as I live in a condo area and the noise in summer outside is terrible..kids screaming….it’s not joy or fun…just middle class noise….I hate where i’m living but don’t want to lose this security of place and near hospitals…there’s really no work….maybe my loneliness is an attachment to the regularity of not expecting anything good or new to happen, nor can I make it happen here, so I stay attached to it. Another place, I reason, could be worse…making the best of a situation is OK, but when it is over and over and over the same stressors and problems, I know it’s not me, or coming from inside me, but from the outside, the surroundings, environment, spiritual condition here. Feedback appreciated from anyone who broke out of their comfort zone and found a better life and happiness.

    • July 28, 2013 at 1:38 am

      Hi, Rileyann –

      I, too, have chronic pain, mostly chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy causing ever-increasing numbness (yet also pain) in both feet, making walking very difficult.

      I did ‘break out’ of my comfort zone by moving (with a friend’s strong encouragement) from a marvelous place but on a steep hill and with stairs that were becoming more and more difficult to manage, to an adult community condo which has what they call a ‘level in’ entrance, no stairs.

      It is quiet and beautiful and offers MANY activities which, unfortunately, I don’t generally participate in due to the isolation and depression caused by the inability to walk and the pain.

      I also have a dog; problem being that he needs far more exercise than I can give him, but I am so glad for the companionship.

      If you can get around your surroundings, maybe find a center with activities – and QUIET.

      I hope this is more helpful than I fear it might be…

  • July 29, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Thanks for sharing Tracy! I’ve struggled with chronic pain now for the last 15 years after a car accident that left my back and neck damaged. It is no fun to live with and try to get through a day. It’s put a strain on my marriage and family life. Trying to keep up with my 4 kids; two of which are autistic, is not easy especially when meltdowns happen! Really enjoyed reading through your blog. Would love to connect on Facebook! Have a great nite.

  • July 29, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Pain is lonely, in part because of our health care systems prejudice toward people in pain and our morally and mentally governments failure to address the issue. Let us not confuse private trouble of pain for the social issue of an uncaring government and an uncaring health care industry.

  • July 29, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    So true; and so hard to explain to other people. I have yet to find anyone who “gets it”.

  • July 31, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Hi Tracy,
    I broke my neck 13 years ago and have been in chronic pain every since (my upper back spasms at the drop of a hat…literally). What is lonely for me is seeing other people be so free in their body. They are able to “take care of things” while I can no longer grocery shop (cannot carry 1/2 gallon of milk to the car without paying a price) or pull a few weeds in my yard without suffering for the next few days. In a word, I feel JEALOUS! My husband “gets it” but at times I notice when I say, “I’m hurting,” he says something like, “hmmm, yeah, so what do you want to have for dinner?” (I mean seriously, it’s been 13 years). I spend a lot of time working on “gratitude” thoughts. That helps.

  • August 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you for this, it is so true.

  • August 5, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I have rheumatoid arthritis. I have experienced pain in my life over short term issues such as surgery. But this pain is relentless. It affects sleep. It does isolate me for several reasons. One is it limits my ability to keep up with the activities of other people. I also get frustrated with the “well you look perfectly fine” comments. These comments are irritating especially when you know if you complained about your pain those are the very people that would run in the other direction rather than supporting you. So often you keep silent rather than talking which means less interaction. Finally a personal inability to do the simplest of tasks painlessly (such as standing up from a chair and walking after being seated for a while)often proves embarrassing. Why have to go through it especially in public? All of these issues contribute to the loneliness of being in pain.

  • August 5, 2013 at 8:47 am

    I once worked with a girl who had been hurt in an accident and was paralyzed from the waist down. I asked her if she was ever in any pain and she said. “No, just stuck in the wheelchair.” I feel like such an ingrate for saying this, but for a while, I envied her. Now, of course, I know how crazy that is but I just want so badly to go back to a day where I could remember what that was like. For nothing to be hurt, or be swollen, and to walk normally, having a full range of motion in my joints…I dont remember what thats like because its been 26 years since Ive felt it. I was in the 3rd grade. I dont have a car so I have a relative who leaves her car with me so that I can get out while she’s away. I was so excited. I dressed nicely, and did my makeup. But as I was dressing, I realized how much I missed coffee or lunch dates with my old friends who don’t call anymore. I made it out to a store, and I even caught a guy admiring me from a distance until he noticed my limp and the obvious discomfort in my face – and he turned away. I’m not terribly sad about that, but my life has become the definition of lonely. I can’t even spend 15 minutes on my feet before I’m in a ridiculous amount of pain – and thats hard to deal with because it limits you so much. It puts a limit on any and everything thats enjoyable. Thats hard for anyone that I try to date, hard for my friends. No one knows where I fit in their lives and I cant say I blame them because if I were a healthy person with no idea of the impact that chronic illness can have on someone’s life, I may not be much different. I just try to be grateful for my family and that they try to be supportive and helpful. It means so much.

  • August 5, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I feel like I could have written this article. Thanks for discussing a very important issue. I am 37 and I have had to deal with chronic pain for the past ten years or so. My husband and my daughter also have chronic pain and I know that we are still together after fifteen years because we understand each other. My husband and my two children are really my only social life because no other person really gets what I’m going through. I no longer can hide it. I walk with a cane and cannot wear shoes anymore because the arthritis in my feet is so extreme. Aside from that, I have major back and neck problems, both knees have been replaced. I am just falling apart due to osteoarthritis. It is very difficult for someone my age to understand. I have the best conversations with people at my doctors appointments and they are at least twice my age. 🙂 I used to be a very social person. Now, I just read, watch movies and bake when I can. It takes a great deal of strength to overcome the loneliness due to illness.

  • February 19, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Pain makes you so lonely in a room full people.
    It makes me so lonely when i cry at 3.00 am and i’m sitting alone when everyone else is sleeping.
    I have learnt to hate my pain, i have no choice. Pain is the ultimate master of me and my life. I do what ever it tells me to do, i cry when it hurts and hurts and hurts.
    I have ven thought that re-locating to Holland so i can euthanised. I don’t want to live one minute more than i have too.

    When everyone that thinks they know me are all pissed off at me when i say oww. People are not interested in me suffering my pain. Everyone else says they can’t understand what i am going through.

    I was hurts in 1988 in a military accident, since then i have endured knee surgery,elbow and shoulder surgery, and the most constant issue after having 16 spinal fusion etc etc. I have done the pain, the time, the lonliness and having to live outside any social group because my body has completely forgotten how to smile.

    I am sorry for dumping this out there, but i thought maybe some one who knows what i am feeling can just say helloif they have the chance.
    My Deposit thanks for just reading my abbreviated life. I would love to just have someone to say hi without their judging me on how pathetic they think i am.
    Regards to all,

    • February 23, 2015 at 8:19 am

      Stephen–YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
      It is okay and healthy to talk as much as you have to about your situation. Lots of us in chronic pain can’t get out of the house, so use the internet to get those poisonous thoughts out of your head and onto the screen! You are helping others by sharing your pain and again, you’re not alone in this. We understand.
      I go through the same thing, I cry and I’m alone all the time and I wonder what I did to deserve this life. It’s hard. But you are stronger than you think. And so am I. You keep talking about it and don’t give up.

  • February 19, 2015 at 6:52 am

    I apologise for the word auto selecting my words.

    It was meant to say my DEEPEST thanks.

  • April 17, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    It was helpful to read that other people are suffering, I have lost my partner, career and social life due to chronic pain, I spend 98% of my life on my own. I was once outgoing and always active. I did read a book some years ago which may help some of you, it helped me at the time but I have since fractured my spine and am in 24 hr pain. The book is worth reading as it tackles the emotional issues associated with some pain, it’s very easy and quick to read. It is Healing Back Pain by Dr John Sarno. It does deal with many types of pain and how our subconscious can affect the body. I know what it is like to feel that people just want to get away from you because they can’t cope with seeing someone in pain, I feel embarrassed to talk about it as it makes people uncomfortable, it’s hard when people say things like “why do you go away?” They have no idea how impossible that would be, it’s hard to realise they have so little understanding and no empathy. Good luck to all.

    • April 17, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      I meant “why don’t you go away” sorry for typo.

  • September 8, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    I am so pleased that there are these forums…as family/ friends…don’t really understand…so these sites keep me “sane”…as I do beat myself up ..thinking…STOP ..being a moaner…guilt…moodswings…failure…fatigue…isolation…don’t socialise or even taking mam shopping…The Constant Agony….I push…push…and TRY my BEST to be “positive”…… to be The energetic…happy…full fun…loved going out…NOW,…from getting out my bed…as soon as am up on my feet….This constant, nagging pain starts…Then it’s The Brainfog/ malfunctioning/ clumsiness…moods…Wake up everyday…thinking…” be positive “… “happy”……BANG.!! PAIN..,!! Take Care you)s guys…we need each other to try keep us up !! X


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