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  • Writer's pictureMichael Lenz

"When I Look Fine on the Outside, But Feel Horrible on the Inside: A Journey Through Chronic Pain"

Chronic pain is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, yet it is often misunderstood and despised. It is an invisible illness that can leave individuals feeling isolated and alone in their struggle. In a world where physical appearance is often equated with well-being, those who suffer from chronic pain often face the challenge of looking fine on the outside while feeling constant pain on the inside.

I recently came across the story of Christin Veasley in Dr. Afton Hassett's book Chronic Pain Reset, which I did a podcast interview with earlier this year. Her journey through chronic pain has been ongoing for over 30 years, ever since she experienced a traumatic accident at the age of 15. In her story, Christin emphasizes the importance of raising awareness about chronic pain and the need for safe and effective treatments.

One of the key messages that Christin brings forth is the lack of understanding surrounding chronic pain in the medical field. She shares her struggles finding knowledgeable healthcare professionals who can provide appropriate treatment options. Christin's experience highlights the need for increased research and awareness on chronic pain to ensure that individuals like her have access to the care they deserve.

Throughout her journey, Christin has explored various treatment options, both drug and non-drug, to manage her chronic pain. She emphasizes the importance of finding a balance that helps reduce the severity of her pain without intolerable side effects. Enduring through chronic pain shows the tremendous resilience and determination required to navigate life with chronic pain.

The toll that chronic pain takes not only on the individual but also on their loved ones is a significant aspect that Christin brings to light. She shares the challenges of trying to function as normally as possible while experiencing constant pain. The cognitive dissonance of appearing fine on the outside while feeling horrible on the inside can have a profound impact on one's mental and emotional well-being. Christin's openness about the effects of chronic pain on her personal relationships reminds us of the importance of compassion and understanding for those who suffer from invisible illnesses.

Despite her hardships, Christin has discovered coping strategies that have helped her along her journey. She recognizes the power of being active and engaged in physical activity, even if it means modifying her routine based on her pain levels. Connecting with nature and pursuing her passion for photography has provided her with a sense of purpose and a different perspective on life. Christin's words resonate with many individuals who have found solace and creativity in the realm of artistic expression.

For those considering exploring photography as a coping mechanism, Christin encourages trying to see things from a different perspective. Whether using a professional camera or a smartphone, the opportunity to challenge oneself to capture the world in a unique way can open up new avenues for self-expression and healing. Through her resilient attitude, Christin reminds us that beauty and positivity can arise from periods of difficulty.

If you're interested in learning more about Christin Veasley's photography and journey with chronic pain, you can visit her website, Resilience Photography. Her stunning captures of nature and marine mammals serve as a testament to her ability to find beauty in the midst of chronic pain.

In conclusion, chronic pain is an invisible illness that affects millions of individuals worldwide. Christin Veasley's story offers insight into the challenges faced by those who experience chronic pain and emphasizes the need for increased research, understanding, and support. While chronic pain can be isolating, finding ways to cope, such as engaging in physical activity or pursuing artistic endeavors, can bring solace and hope. It is essential to acknowledge the struggles faced by individuals with chronic pain and foster empathy and compassion in our communities.


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