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How to Support a Friend in Pain

It’s hard to witness a close friend who is suffering. You don’t want to pry, but you want to find a way to help improve their situation. This is especially difficult when your friend is experiencing a long-term diagnosis. In these cases, it’s more about learning to live with the sensations. You should find sustainable ways to support your friend as they navigate through this difficult time. 

Here are four great ways to support a friend who is suffering. Even better, get a group of friends together and amplify your impact. Sometimes being a good friend means acknowledging their experiences and helping them find healthy ways to create a meaningful life.

Listen to Them

If there’s nothing you can do to take away their anguish, then it’s best to just listen. Be a supportive shoulder to cry on. Let your friend vent about their experiences. Ask questions if it’s appropriate, but most importantly just reaffirm their experiences. People in pain need their friends to validate their experiences. They need people to sympathize and empathize with their situation.

It can feel scary to call up your friend with chronic pain in Pekin. But a bit of gentle companionship is a great way to show your friend that you care. Oftentimes, people who experience these kinds of regular sensations have figured out ways to deal with them. But what they worry about most is how to keep their friends around. If their body is unpredictable, they might worry that canceling at the last minute will offend them. Reassure them that it’s good to listen to their body and that you’ll be their friend no matter what. 

Distract Them

Some sensations are easier to ignore than others. There are a lot of people in Ohio who have experience with this. For someone living with multiple sclerosis in Pekin, there are a lot of low-key options for distracting activities that you and your friend could do together. Why not look for in-home activities first? For instance, you could bring over a musical instrument or a DIY art kit full of coloring books and modeling clay. Watch a movie together and offer to prepare the snacks yourself. Activities like this are perfect for people who experience difficult sensations in the body. 

Staying at home can definitely get old, but it does allow for more flexibility and taking breaks. For instance, if any activity becomes too overwhelming, it’s easy to simply lie down for a bit with trusted recovery tools. If your friend is suffering, suggest some home-based activities to do together. Let them take the lead. If they suggest going out of the house for a distracting adventure, know that your friend might need to take extra rest. Encourage them to communicate with you. Make them laugh and share what’s been going on in your life. Distraction can be a great way to overcome pain.

Food & Meal Trains

Not all people want their friends to enter their homes and spend time with them. For some people, it’s even worse to have someone around to witness their experience. It’s important to respect each person’s healing process. If you have a friend with PTSD in Pekin, you might be eager to talk through their experience with them. But make sure you discuss in advance if that’s something your friend wants. There’s nothing worse than being surprised by a well-meaning friend. This can actually trigger an episode, in fact. 

Instead, a great way to support people experiencing chronic pain in Pekin is to coordinate with friends to make and deliver food. Meal trains first became popular as a post-surgery or post-childbirth way to support people in recovery. There are many free online tools that allow people to easily sign up for a mealtime slot. The recipient can share their dietary preferences and create a list that is locked to only approved friends and family. Coordinate to make sure that your friend has good, healthy meals throughout the week. It can sometimes be hard for people with PTSD in Pekin to remember to take care of themselves. Frozen meals, or even freshly delivered muffins, can be a welcome dose of love in the face of all that negative sensation.

Offer Household Assistance, Cleaning, and Errands

This is a big one. Even people who don’t experience chronic pain in Pekin can find themselves getting behind on cleaning and errands. But for people whose bodies present some limitations, having a tidy house can sometimes feel out of reach. This can lead to depression and other negative self-perceptions. If your friend is up for it, speak with them about allowing you to come once a week and help out with any household chores or errands. For instance, maybe they need to pick up a heavy bag of dog food every week. This could be a great chore for you to take over, especially if you can present it in a way that’s not pity-inducing. Perhaps your friend has children that need a ride to soccer practice. You could offer to drop them off and pick them up. You could even just bring their kids along for the household errands to give your friend some time alone in the house.

If they’re open to it, look into hiring a regular cleaning service for your friend. It can sometimes be difficult for people to let their friends see inside their messy homes. Some people prefer to let strangers in instead. If your friend is game, try pooling your money with some friends and go in on a cleaning service. This can make a big difference in the lives of people who experience chronic pain in Pekin.

In the end, the most important thing you can do is let your friend take the lead. Never come up with a solution without the input of your friend. No one knows more about their own body than the person having the experience. It can feel hard to broach the topic, but your friend will surely feel your love and support if you honestly ask them about their experience and what you can do to help.