When you live with chronic pain, there may be times when you think “I just can’t do this anymore.”
It’s not necessarily that you want to commit suicide, but you’re having thoughts that the pain, fatigue, and depression are just too much to bear. You’re at the end of your rope, and it’s getting harder and harder to hang on.
So, what do you do when it’s 3 in the morning, everyone is fast asleep, and you have absolutely nobody to talk to?
If you are not actively suicidal, but you are in a chronic pain crisis (a deep emotional response caused by your chronic pain such as a shutdown, meltdown, anxiety attack, or vague thoughts of no longer wanting to be alive), consider the immediate support sources mentioned below.
Crisis Text Line is an anonymous service that allows you to receive peer-to-peer support via text message 24 hours a day for any crisis you’re experiencing. Text START to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, and a live, trained Crisis Counselor will respond to your text quickly. A volunteer Crisis Counselor will then help you move from an emotional state of mind to a more reasonable one.
Crisis Chat is there for you when you feel like you can’t take it anymore. Each volunteer and staff member are screened in person and attend 30-60 hours of crisis training before they respond to calls or chats.
You will be assessed for suicide risk and work collaboratively with your specialist to address positive coping strategies and the next steps you can take.
If you are unable to reach a Lifeline Crisis Chat specialist, call 1-800-273-8255 for emotional support.
Wait? Twitter for immediate support during a chronic pain crisis? Believe it or not, yes. There are specific hashtags that people in the chronic pain community use to communicate with each other all over the world and at all different times of the day.
These tags include:
- #spooniechat – (Every Wednesday)
The inspiration for the article came while she was talking with a friend who asked her what it was like to live with a chronic illness. She explained that a person who struggles with chronic pain only has a set amount of energy (spoons) in their drawer for the day.
These spoons must be used for everything from showering to preparing a meal to going to lunch with a friend.
Since there is only a small allotment of spoons each day and the number of them changes depending on how the person is feeling, the “spoonie” must take care not to use up all their spoons until they’ve gotten through the day.
Oftentimes, those living with chronic pain and illness will not have enough energy (spoons) for the whole day. At this point, they must rest to avoid further physical, mental, and emotional damage.
So, yes, check out Twitter. There’s a very live and active spoonie community out there waiting for you to join in the conversation.
A few months ago, I stumbled upon Live Support Group and did an interview with Robin Pfeffer, the amazing woman who runs the site. LSG offers a waiting room where you can chat immediately in a peer-to-peer support environment.
Live chats are scheduled every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and you can connect to them via your computer or telephone.
Chronic Pain Anonymous may not be as immediate as the other resources, but it offers a variety of ways to connect with other people experiencing chronic pain. There are face-to-face, video chat, online, and phone meetings you can participate in regularly.
When you’re struggling with the emotional weight of chronic illness, you shouldn’t have to go it alone. There are people you can reach out to right now who will understand exactly what you’re going through.
I recommend staying active in a few chronic pain support groups. This way, there is a greater likelihood that someone will be there right when you need them. Plus, when you’re having a good day, you can return the favor and be there for someone else.
This, in and of itself, can help give you back that sense purpose you’ve been missing.
If you use Facebook, feel free to join my chronic pain support group, too.