Just a few weeks back, I told my husband I was done talking openly with people about living with a hidden disability. I was so over this searing, relentless pain and I felt ashamed about having spoken (and written) publicly about it.
Imagine my surprise (and my quandary) when I later received an email from Ryan Warner at Colorado Public Radio. My good friend, Amanda, had suggested me for an interview for the CPR series, “On Pain.”
Ryan explained they were looking for someone to speak about their experience living with chronic pain and not being able to pinpoint the exact cause. I immediately thought of my recent declaration to Tom that I was no longer talking to people about this. Then, my thoughts went to the people I’ve been hoping to reach: others experiencing chronic pain and invisible illnesses. Not often does an opportunity like this come along. I had the privilege to be of service – if even for a few minutes, to be a voice for those struggling with pain. I quickly responded to Ryan. “I’m your gal,” I wrote.
Not long after, I found myself having a conversation – while being recorded – with Ryan Warner. It was surreal. Ryan is kind, compassionate and thoroughly impressive. I have spent the past 25 years interviewing people for a living (back working in news and for our video production company, Fireside Production). It is quite the experience to speak publicly about something so personal, but Ryan conducted the interview with grace. It was clear that he too has been impacted by chronic pain. If you haven’t heard Ryan’s interview with his father about pain… well, you simply must. Listen here.
Of course, listening to the interview afterwards – all of those feelings of dread and embarrassment washed over me. “Who was I to think I was worthy of speaking about pain,” I thought. I was filled with doubt. However, during the interview and for the following two weeks… I received many calls and emails.