When I’m in pain, I am certain that I’m less receptive to the good in the world around me.
A recent study showed that it is possible to diagnose depression remotely by analyzing the photos people post to social media. Depressed people view the world so differently, their acts of self-expression change.
Along similar lines, I’ve noticed that I view people around me in a different light when my chronic pain flares. I’ve caught myself cynically judging the sincerity of a smile on a woman’s face, or angry at a pedestrian for his freedom to walk presumably without pain.
This isn’t my natural personality. I have a sincere love for—and trust in the goodness of—humanity that my darling husband finds charmingly(?) naive.
I like to joke that I’m a functional misanthrope, but that’s got more to do with my introversion and some social anxiety than any real disdain for humanity. I am overjoyed by the heights of human achievement. I believe that we, as a species, will persevere and do wonderful things.
That’s my perspective. That’s who I really am.
Pain, however, distorts my every impression.
And, I’m less likeable when I’m in pain. Continue reading