A turtle in it's shell thinking about coming out

Withdrawing from Those Around Me

Last updated: June 2023

When my pain levels rise, I tend to withdraw from those around me. What comes to my mind is the safety mechanism of the turtle when the turtle has to withdraw into its shell for safety. This is a defensive mechanism that helps protect the turtle from predators. When threatened, the turtle will quickly retract its head, legs, and tail into its shell, leaving only its hard exterior exposed.

"Invisible days"

I'm not entirely sure why I do this, but I suspect it's due to the overwhelming emotional state that accompanies the increased pain. I've noticed that some days I'm able to do certain activities, but I'll pay the price for them later. On other days, I'm unable to do the same things I did just a few days earlier.

Unfortunately, most people don't see what I call the “invisible days” when I can't walk or experience cramping. As a result, they tend to believe that I'm not pushing myself hard enough, or it could be always worse, but that doesn't make my situation any easier to bear.

The problem of being social with sickle cell

Living with chronic pain can be a challenging experience, and it's often difficult for others to understand what it's like. While I wish I could explain my pain to others in a way that they would understand, the truth is that it's a deeply personal experience that's often difficult to put into words.

In my case, withdrawing from society feels like a way to protect myself from additional stress, pain, or disappointment. While it may provide temporary relief, I realize that it's not a sustainable solution. Those of us who suffer from chronic pain/intractable pain have the same aspirations as everyone else.

Managing the roadblocks

They want to live a normal life, be productive, and enjoy their time with loved ones. However, we must overcome an additional obstacle to achieve our goals. Chronic pain is a condition that lasts for months or even years. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, illness, or nerve damage. Intractable pain, on the other hand, is pain that cannot be relieved by conventional treatments.

Both types of pain can have a profound impact on a person's quality of life. Despite the challenges I face with chronic pain and intractable pain, I try to remain resilient. All of us are determined to find ways to manage our pain and live our lives to the fullest.

Staying connected

By raising awareness about these conditions, I can be proactive in finding solutions to these problems. I'm still working on finding healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with increased pain and emotional distress. It's a process, but I'm hopeful that with time, compassion, and effort, I'll be able to break this pattern of withdrawal and find ways to stay connected with society, even during difficult times.

All I can do is try to get through each day one day-at-a-time and hope that “someday” I will find multiple ways to improve and increase my quality of life.

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