Don’t Suffer In Silence

I fear I’m getting old. For everything hurts. A lot. Take last Saturday for example. I bent over in the kitchen to put some rubbish in the bin, only to discover I couldn’t stand up straight again. A sharp pain in the base of my back ensured that. Hobbling over to a nearby chair my watching wife and children reacted in the only way they knew how…they burst out laughing. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so settled for somewhere in between.

Almost a week later, the situation has improved. I’m still subject to a dull ache but Ibuprofen is my best friend and I’m a brave little soldier at the end of the day. I haven’t been able to run but am trying to maintain a daily 10,000 step regime on my Garmin. It’s frustrating but what can I do? Maybe my body is telling me something I’ve suspected for some time. You need to slow down, Stephen. Pain is a warning sign and it’s time I started paying attention to it.

My right knee has been bothering me for some time now. It’s fine during the actual act of running but afterwards is always stiff and sore. There are times I struggle to straighten my leg. I really should be icing it but am hopeful the enforced rest might help it. My days of marathon running are behind me but I still want to keep running in moderation for both my physical and mental well-being. How else would I get ideas for my writing?

Which brings me to my feet. I returned to full time work this week and bought a new pair of shoes two days ago. Breaking them in has been a painful process and I removed them yesterday evening to reveal two badly skinned big toes. I awoke this morning and gingerly inspected them. Ouch. I may have to resort to new depths and become a trainer wearing commuter, people I used to sneer in derision at. It serves me right for my snobby ways.

The shoes look good but make me feel bad. On the surface I resemble a reasonably normal member of the human race but inside I’m gritting my teeth and hobbling through the pain. There is no release, no relief, no respite. I just have to suck it up and struggle through the pain. The only break I get is when I take them off and tentatively massage my tender tootsies. Regular readers of this blog know I’m not one to complain though…oh alright then, maybe a little bit from time to time.

There are many of us walking about looking good on the outside but struggling badly beneath the surface. We hide the pain and bear the invisible wounds in stoic silence. I know that pain for I carried it for many years myself. OCD and grief left me on my knees. I resorted to quick fixes to ease the torment and, in doing so, turned my back on those who mattered most. I nearly lost it all but somehow survived thanks to the love and support of my family.

You might be in a similar position as you read this. It could be bereavement, addiction, unemployment, divorce, there are any number of reasons you feel there is nothing left to fight for. You don’t want to take another step, you’re tired of the loneliness and unceasing monotony of life. You’re on the brink of stepping off the conveyor belt and calling it a day. You have nothing left to give and just want a little peace and quiet.

Know this. You’re not alone. I’ve been there as have many others. It’s why I blog, why I write, even if only one person reads my words and knows my story. Knows there is hope and a weak, faltering light at the end of the tunnel. Words are my salvation, they allow me to exorcise the past and unveil a better future. Don’t suffer in silence. Pride is a killer. Swallow it and reach out. There are those of us who know and care. We want to help…if you will let us.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

27 thoughts on “Don’t Suffer In Silence

  1. Oh I’ve been here many times. In fact I’m there most of the time now. Hiding my grief and sadness, and darkness, following my cancer and going blind. A marriage that is falling apart, and a new gealth chalkenge that may be a new cancer. Yet mostly I write mire uplifting stuff. I long to tell the utter truth, but I never do. Not truly. It’s how we are conditioned to live life.


  2. I always appreciate your authenticity, Stephen. You’re human, and that’s such a relief to know. 🙂


  3. We all put a brave face on when we’re in pain. I do it all the time, it’s like we don’t want to show our weakness to others or for my friends to think I. Always complaining about my illness so I always put my brave face on.


  4. Hi there Stephen, get used to old age. I tend to ignore the aches and pains hoping they will disappear. It works at times. My orthopedist said I had too much mileage and should have stopped overworking my body years ago. But I’ve always been a workaholic. The best thing to do is listen to your body, it does tell you when to stop. I had bad shoulder pain and couldn’t do anything with it. It was so bad that I couldn’t sleep at night nor drive. Therefore, I listened to my body, stopped overdoing it and I’m almost like new now. Without surgery. There comes a time when we must realize that we are no longer youngsters. It’s a good excuse to relax and take it easy.


  5. I threw out my back on a Razor scooter with my daughter trying to cut a corner. I thought 50 was the new 20? And to think this whole time I only just “felt” 20, and truth be told, sometimes I act it. My body though is probably like that of an 69 year old. Ha ha ha!


  6. As I nurse and a runner I must say you don’t break in shoes. If they are killing your feet donate them! With your back out you need comfortable not fashionable shoes. 😘


  7. I’m sorry you are in pain. I’m 32 and I worry about my vision as I get older. I have low vision. I don’t have a GP to help with other body issues either. You are not alone.


  8. We all have gifts that when we share, make the world a more beautiful place. Thank you for sharing parts of your journey, the realness that we can relate to.

    About a decade ago I reached a point I thought I might not come back from. Like you I am pleased to have a caring family (in my case brother, sister, parents, and a few really close friends) who have been there for me. For me, when things got tough in pray – I still do. If someone is reading this and doesn’t know where to turn, I’d say try praying, even if you don’t think you know how.

    As you say with your very well written words, there are those who care and will help in whatever ways they are able. We just have to be ready to accept this help, and reach our when we can. Kia kaha, and thanks again for your words.


  9. The right post at the right time, thank you Stephen. I’ve been missing Ireland, missing having people who really know me, giving up on finding love, my life’s purpose and any happiness. Been walking around so aimlessly just slowly giving up again. I needed to hear that. I am not alone 💚

    Also, I feel you, I have such pain in my left toe joint from ballet and that foot is also flat. I wear wide fitting shoes or Birkenstock’s now as I need additional arch support – there are shoes out there, don’t reach for the runners just yet.


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