23 Things That Will Help You Understand What Chronic Pain Is Really Like

    "On the outside I'm great, but inside, my body is trying to destroy itself."

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they wish people knew about chronic pain. Here are their stories.

    1. Chronic pain can include various types of debilitating pain all over your body.

    2. And it can completely disrupt your normal functioning.

    3. It’s 100% real, and you shouldn’t say otherwise.

    4. For some, it hurts 24/7, 365 days a year.

    5. And because of that, it skews your view of what a typical pain tolerance looks like.

    6. It's more than just physical — it affects your mental health, too.

    7. It does not discriminate by age.

    8. There are ~good~ days and there are bad ones.

    9. Unless you're a doctor, it's better that you don't give advice.

    10. Many doctors won't take the pain seriously, or they won't do enough to treat it.

    11. Surgery and medication don't always help.

    12. Everything might seem fine, but it's not.

    13. Flaking on plans is a pretty consistent thing, but it's not for a lack of trying.

    14. And you shouldn't stop trying, either.

    15. Sometimes it’s better to talk about something else.

    16. Even simple, everyday tasks can be incredibly difficult with chronic pain.

    17. It can be hard to hold down a job

    18. And sometimes it can make you second-guess your goals.

    19. It's not that anyone's else's pain isn't real, but please don't compare it to chronic pain.

    20. It’s exhausting, even when you're not really doing anything.

    21. And it makes it difficult to maintain relationships.

    22. And finally, it's not something to joke about.

    23. Your support won't take the pain away, but it helps.

    Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!