Many of you have felt this way – when you’re hungry, your personality might change because your body is crying out for sustenance. Or you might be sick, and find yourself acting crabby, not realizing that you’re sick until you’re laid out in bed. I have fought on and off with headaches for a decade, and find that when my head is hurting the worst, I can act my worst. And then, for women, there is PMS or PMDD….
I really feel for people who have constant physical pain. I knew a guy who was injured in the military from a parachute not opening when it was supposed to. His whole body was injured in the fall, but he had to be relieved from duty because of his back pain never getting better.
He was (probably is still) a very sweet and bright person, who could come across as short-tempered. He would go home at night and call me because he was having a hard time sleeping because his back pain was just so awful. But the point I’m making is that sometimes physical pain, or sometimes your physical body (being hungry, needing sleep, being hormonal because of periods, etc) can change your personality.
If someone had met this guy and didn’t know about his constant pain, maybe they would think he was just a jerk. He’d say things quickly and brusquely, and sometimes wouldn’t stick around to hear your answer (because he needed to walk to straighten out his back). Without knowing this (and he didn’t come right out and say it), what would you think? Probably that he was a jerk. When he really wasn’t at all – just reacting to his constant pain.
I can’t imagine how hard that must be (and hope never to), and really try to be understanding with people. You never really know what another person is going through. Just looking at the surface of anyone, you’re not going to know whether they’re grieving a loved one, or just having a bad day. We don’t live in the shoes of others, and the most we can do is withhold judgment, empathize, and be patient.
If you’re someone who is suffering with physical pain on a daily basis, my heart goes out to you. Try to remember that other people may not understand, and even though you may not like to constantly explain yourself, that it may be necessary for you to have a smoother world.
Physical pain is hard enough without having to deal with emotional pain as well.