I have enjoyed being apart of Brene Brown’s and Oprah’s Life Class for the past 5 weeks and one of the exercises focussed on Authenticity. Brene states authenticity is a practice so needs to be integrated into one’s life and the exercises help you work out where one needs to work.

In doing it, it struck me that it is a particular challenge for those of us with chronic pain syndromes, or in fact, any condition that doesn’t change on a daily basis. I don’t want to come across as a “complainer” every time someone asks “How are you?” and I don’t want to be inauthentic. Continuously saying “much the same”, “in pain”, “a bit better” seems to make the on and on-ness of the condition all the more real. Bouncing out an “all good” ignores the care that the friend is trying to instil in the moment. In the same way, I don’t expect my friends to ignore my condition, I want them to be understanding of the ups and downs which means they need to know about them.

It is a conumdrum with which I am still struggling. Any suggestions from sufferers and friends of sufferers?

0 Replies to “Authenticity and Pain

  1. I too would love some thoughts. I feel its a challenge to share our conditions, it makes us feel vulnerable – I do not want to be defined by a condition – but at times, we do need our family, friends and colleagues to take them into account.

    I feel its a gift when people feel safe enough to tell me about the things that are challenging for them, or when they are in pain. Its not the same as someone complaining or whining, its courageous to reach out and it opens the door for deeper understanding. Finding the right balance…shoo..thats hard

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