Friday, October 8, 2010


It's well known.
Don't discuss religion or politics.
I broke the rules.

I just happened to google the word, "suffering." I wanted to see what would come up and what I could learn about this word. Personally, I don't like the word suffering as it applies to me and my illness. It's the same for me as the word disabled. I visualize a bent and bowed old woman. Now, I don't want to start a firestorm of comments about being disabled. I am disabled and I have accepted that. I just have a visual involving the words suffering and disabled that negatively impacts me.

Anyway, back to suffering. Then I googled suffering and religion and looked at the views of suffering by the major religions of the world. I did an overview of basic Buddhist tenets and wrote about suffering as I understood it.

Boy, did I get comments.

First, I think I misunderstood what suffering meant according to the Buddhist theories. I'm still not sure what I read because my mental capacities aren't what they used to be! What I did realize is that belief systems all have basic ideas and tenets about the suffering of mankind.

So lets go back to the actual definition of suffering.

1.  to undergo or feel pain or distress.  
2.  to sustain injury, disadvantage or loss.  
3.  to endure pain or disability.   
4.  to tolerate or allow.  
5.  to undergo, be subjected to or endure pain, distress, injury, loss or anything unpleasant. 


I guess I do suffer after all. Chronic pain and the devastation it leaves in its aftermath is something that I don't wish on anyone. Those of us who have to live with this on a daily basis not only struggle with the stigma of an invisible illness but they suffer with the subsequent isolation that comes with living with chronic pain and fatigue. 

There is physical suffering and there is emotional suffering. We've probably endured both kinds. Sometimes everything becomes so overwhelming that we just don't know where to turn. The never ending parade of symptoms and pain make it seem like we're standing in the middle of quicksand. At any moment we are aware that we can sink. 

Anything that we can do to muddle through is of personal opinion. We don't have a cure so we can't point to anything as the definitive answer as to how we should deal with our pain. It's subjective and we get very defensive when anyone points to a coping mechanism and implies that if we're not doing this we won't get well. It's almost as if we're turning on our own instead of lending a helping hand to lift each other up. It's absolutely imperative that we do everything in our power to lift each other up. Sometimes that's all we've got to hang on to.

The mind does incredible things and words can evoke powerful images. Those images are different for everyone, depending on their experiences. 

They don't say that the pen is mightier than the sword for nothing.

1 comment:

  1. I seem to have a very difficult time trying to post to your blog. I don't know why but many times I have tried to leave a comment and it won't take.

    Anyway, I agree that it would sure be a better world if people would reach out to help rather than give advice on how to feel better.

    I am sending you very gentle hugs.


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