I would suggest, most respectfully, that it is not.
Chronic pain is a complex condition that is not easily remedied by typical treatments, supplements, or exercise routines. While we appreciate everyone’s sincere desire to help, what we require usually isn’t more advice. To support us in our healing, here’s what we would ask for:
2. A Free Pass
3. Your Understanding That We Can't Be Normal
4. Allowances for Our Cylinders Not Firing
5. Compassion and Trust
Instead of trying to help us by offering methods for healing, we are in need of you simply being with us, being there for us when you can, and trusting us to find our own individual path through pain. We will let you know if we need more than that. We appreciate your loving-kindness, your gentleness and your compassion most of all, and these, really, more than any words of advice, are the most healing things you can offer anyone in pain.
Sarah Anne Shockley has lived with nerve pain from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome since 2007.
She is the author of The Pain Companion: Everyday Wisdom for Living with and Moving Beyond Chronic Pain (New World Library June, 2018).