Learning to be Vulnerable with Pain

When I was 18, I was taken into my first surgery. They told me I had a mass on my ovary and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to think. All the questions and fears overwhelmed me and all the ‘what ifs’ were too much to handle.

Since then I’ve dealt with 3 more surgeries. All have helped relieve the pain for a short period of time. I’ve tried PT; crazy exercises, natural remedies, you name it. I’ve also tried several medications to try to help with the pain and to prevent more issues caused by my diagnosis of endometrioses. This will always be a part of my life. There is no cure.

I hate that I deal with this pain. I hate that my body doesn’t work right. I hate that this world is broken.

The fears and lies I first faced at 18 are still here and I continue to struggle through them. The chronic pelvic/back pain has been unbearable at times and effects my daily life. However, I know I’m not alone. I have God and I have my people. I haven’t always done a good job of sharing my suffering with others, and allowing others to care for me but I am learning. I know God has always been here walking with me.

Through all this, I’m learning how to be vulnerable about my pain with a few close friends (though it’s super hard). I’ve had to navigate what it means to let others carry this burden with me, even if that means opening up to more disappointment or hurt because people don’t always knowing how to respond. Yet, God has used specific instances to show me that it’s worth the risk.

I’ve had people take me to the hospital, visit me through past recoveries. I’ve had people ask me how I am feeling, giving me freedom to be honest when I am not doing well. It has lessened the burden, even though the pain is still there.

I have found that as I walk with people and people walk with me, it doesn’t fix the suffering; I’ve wept with friends who’s babies died, attended funerals of friend’s grandparent, and even had to follow up with others after hard conversations; all these things didn’t fix the suffering, nor did they take the pain away. But being present in the moment has always been better then empty words.

“Words aren’t remembered, presence is.”

I’ve found things feel lighter when I know someone is aching and praying for me during a bad day. While people can’t be a pain killer, community can be a lie killer. They remind me that my pain and diagnosis isn’t my identity or the final say on my value of who I am but that God is and it all reminds me I’m not alone.

Katie Kaszubski

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