What It's Like To Live With Chronic Pain On A Daily Basis

Each day I battle with you, back and forth.

woman with chronic pain Bricolage / Shutterstock

By Jessica Niziolek

The following poem is about the fear and anxiety I experience with my chronic pain.

Growing up, I knew that whatever physical challenges and discomfort I felt was and is part of the deal. But as an adult with cerebral palsy knowing what I now know, and how it is dismissed by the medical field, and basically, a moot point is astonishing to me.

Just because there isn’t any further exploration of this condition for adults with this disability, does not mean we don’t experience changes with it as we get older.


RELATED: My Dad Chose A Lifetime Of Chronic Pain — Just For More Time On Earth With My Mom

I wrote this poem in hopes to open some eyes, on the topic of dealing with chronic pain on a daily basis.

Big and little fears, oh, how I wish that the cradle and bow were relevant again.


Oh big and little fears always being obvious of the harsh and sharp teeth of the real world ahead of you.

The kaleidoscope of colors that you always mistake as magic are fleeting nice moments you capture now in the seldom sighs of relief.

The reality is, growing up with chronic pain is like growing up with a forever frenemy.

You constantly clash, oil and water, that is constantly set to hell and havoc.

Trapping me in an endless look of what ifs and how cans, make this chronic situation resemble better, resemble the assumption on the outside seen by others.

“Was the chair the result of an accident?”

“No, but I wish this pain was as easy to answer and explained away."


The chronic crack, and quick jumping of muscles.

Oh, big little fears.

Tight and fiery barb wire twisting on the inside of my legs.

That’s my very up close and personal reminder that my chronic pain leaves me.

Cement blocks are what I see when I look at my feet.

They feel as though they are anchored together.

Oh big and little fears.

But each day I battle with you, back and forth.

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The fears in my psyche are no match for my willpower; no match for my tigress spirit and the fight to hold onto every tomorrow in front of me.

Consume, and shake me until I rattle, do whatever amuses you…


Oh big little fears, what a love-hate relationship you and I have.

You never hibernate; you are the ever-roaring bear of a monster lurking in wait.

You and I dance long after nightfall and are forever going at it with each new sun.

Our story never has an ending, happy or otherwise.

Oh, big little fears, how I miss the cradle and bow wrapped up in the magic of the very kaleidoscope of colors I thought were pure magic.

You never give me a minute to not miss you.

I wish I could do the unstitching that has bound us to one another.

Oh big and little fears.

You and I will always be frenemies chronic pain.

But what I will never be is a willing prisoner to your relentless pursuit to control me with your mysterious teeth of pain and your equally cage-shaped claws.


You may have against the ropes from time to time, tied inside your vice-like grip.

But I will never be held inside your grip for forever.

I will always fight against your strong iron-like current that is determined to grind me into ash.


This is our fight song.

Oh, big little fears sing with me.

Oh, big little fears you and I will make our own victories.

And will turn that bow and cradle into armor to fight on in.

Oh, big little fears you and I have got this.

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Jessica Niziolek is a writer, poet, and founder of the Abler Blog. She's a contributor to Thought Catalog, The Mighty, Medium, Unwritten, and more.