People often tell me that I’m brave and I am sure that many of you who live with chronic pain or a chronic illness have had the same thing said to you.

I’m really unsure how to deal with this, I seem to attract opinions that are poles apart
“you’re lazy and scrounging, tax payers pay for you to laze around”
And then
“you are so brave to put up with all that pain”

I am not brave and I’m certainly not a hero, as far as I’m concerned bravery is doing something like running into a burning building, to save a life or standing up to someone to stop another person being hurt.
I’m in pain, that much we know, however I haven’t said “I will take that pain instead of x person”. I have unfortunately being left in chronic pain after around about fourteen knee surgeries and the final one a total knee replacement left me like this. Its unfortunate, its bloody horrible but living like this doesn’t make me brave.

The press is always running a story about someone with an illness or disability and labeling them brave, now if they climb a mountain or walk miles and miles to raise money even though they have to cope with an illness or disability, then we can label them as brave, a hero!

I can’t do any of that at this point in time, the pain grounds me and so getting through each day is enough, I’m not brave, I cry at times when the pain is too intense or I cry sometimes because the day after day battle leaves me drained and doubting if I can keep going.

Now here is a hero. My uncle aged 73, he has flown commercially and in his own light aircraft for longer than I have lived, the other day he takes off in his light aircraft with his wife and another passenger, sixty feet in the air and his engine dies. Now sixty feet altitude doesn’t give him much time before coming back to the ground, in that time he has to check many things to see what could be wrong, attempt to restart the engine and when it doesn’t, he has to feather the prop so it doesnt hit the ground and he has to find a place to land where they can walk away from a crash landing and where he doesn’t risk involving anyone else. He does all of this and brings his aircraft safely down on its belly in a field and they walk away. Not bad for 73 years old!


By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

One thought on “You are so brave!”
  1. What an incredible story about your uncle. Amazing to have brought the plane down safely the way he did. I fully understand your blog about people saying you’re brave. Like you, I don’t quite know what to reply when someone has said this to me in the past.

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