How To Be Graceful With Chronic Pain

So often people with chronic pain stumble and stutter their way through the day. We are the least bit graceful, or so it seems. We try to hide our ever so glamorous limp, we try to push through simple everyday tasks; we try out best to live as gracefully as everyone else.

We have a pain that is intense, distracting, messy, and most of all ungracious. We don’t usually get a break from the pain, hence CHRONIC. We often seek for remedies that are out of the ordinary, meaning narcotic pain killers. We regularly cancel, drop out or postpone plans because of the pain. We are often too prideful to ask for help, yet we so desperately need it. This whole life of chronic pain is so ungraceful.

So, how does one with chronic pain live gracefully?


  1. We breathe very deep breaths. We make each movement around a breath; *inhale, move, exhale, move, repeat.*
  2. We use balms, oils, ointments, lotions, etc. to mask the pain for a short amount of time. Whatever settles the muscle spasm, whatever calms the joint pain, we use it.
  3. We rest as much as we can before participating in an event. If we have a 3 hour dinner ordeal, we will sleep all day to mentally prepare for it; because, really, nothing will physically prepare us for what we are about to embark on.
  4. We don’t leave the house without that one pain reliever that helps; whether it be a narcotic, essential oils, a self massager, an ice pack, a heating pad, we don’t leave without it.
  5. We look for benches, chairs, or even a comfortable spot on the floor to sit the second we arrive to a specific place. If we can sit or lay down for a brief moment, sometimes that gives us a little more oomph to get through a few more minutes.

Five ways that we, chronic pain people, get through a day gracefully.

Graceful is a relative term. If you are not one with chronic pain, remember that people with chronic pain long to be oh-so graceful; so don’t judge. Ask the person if you can help them, because like I said before, we are often a little too prideful to ask someone for help.

Living with chronic pain can be messy and chaotic. But, living with chronic pain shows a whole other side to the word graceful. People with chronic pain are creative, we find ways to hide the rigidness of our days. We want to be graceful, truly.

For all of you with chronic pain, it’s okay to be inelegant sometimes. Learn to fully embrace the pain, the unevenness of your life. To embrace yourself, to be completely authentic with who you are, pain and all, is graceful. To balance the pain and judgements, the obstacles and hurt, that takes grace. To live life, to keep moving forward (no matter how you move) is graceful.

Stay smiling, friends.

Elise Hendrickson

“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”

**Written in response to The Daily Post prompt: Graceful.



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