When people ask me how I am feeling, 99 percent of the time I am lying. I often say “not bad,” because I feel it is slightly more honest than “good” or “fine.” I got sick of “fine. Anyway, I lie for many reasons.
1. I’m having a good pain day: They happen and I’ll say that I’m good, fine, not bad. I even feel like I can accomplish great things… in moderation. In which case, relatively speaking, for me I am not actually lying. This is a good pain day, it is not bad for me and I am fine with it.
2. I just don’t want to explain: I just don’t want to explain how crappy I feel and in which way I mean. Because I am tired of it. I just want to deal with it, without having to discuss it, mention it or have any sympathy expressed about it. Because it can be complicated. It may be a migraine with specific symptoms. Maybe it is a fibromyalgia flare, though. Or both. And then I have to explain what it is because most people think my migraines are the main issue but I could be fibromyalgia flaring like crazy or have severe allodynia. Also I don’t really want or need the sympathy. The ideas. The suggestions. I just want to get through the day.
3. I am straight-up lying: I feel horrible, but I want to get through the day. It isn’t going to help me or you if I say how horrific I feel so I just lie, lie, lie. No one can do anything. I can’t even do anything. It isn’t going to help anyone and certainly not me to say how horrible the pain is, so I lie.
4. I just want to cope easier: Sometimes it is easier to not talk about the pain and just cope with it. It is easier to smile and laugh and put on a façade to help myself cope. Swelling on the pain, at all, ruins this mental game I have going on, that I need, to get through the day.
I don’t do this with family. I will tell them when the pain sucks. And half the time they can tell when it does. I feel more free to do so. I don’t have to over-explain. I don’t get all that sympathy business, just genuine caring for me personally. I don’t get weird advice. I also am at home and don’t have to “function” through the pain. I can just be Me in pain.
Functioning through the pain takes a totally different mindset. I have to consciously not dwell on the pain. I have to try and keep my humor up, because it helps with my mood and coping. I smile a lot because it literally tricks our brains into releasing happy hormones. I want to keep myself as free of my usual negativity as possible so I can cope with the amount of pain I am in and function through it. I want to deal with the stress of that as best I can with relaxation breathing and resting on my breaks. I try to maintain this atmosphere to trick myself into handling the pain well at work. Generally I convince myself fairly well.