Do you believe that your suffering might help someone else? I did, back when I was really ill with trigeminal neuralgia, I was convinced that my experience with pain would help others. I was right about that, but I was wrong to think I had to get well to be of assistance.

Back then, Facebook and Twitter did not exist. The Trigeminal Neuralgia Association had a skeleton website with very few features. Most of the time, I couldn’t talk, so there was no way I could call. I had no idea that one day I would become the director of patient services for this organization, which is now known as TNA, the Facial Pain Association.

Because of the Internet, living with pain has changed. We have groups on social media where we can post our thoughts to be read by the masses. Sometimes we meet someone with whom we click, forming bonds with a friend we have never met.

These bonds become exceptionally important, and without knowing it, we might be someone’s temporary lifeline. Here are some things we can do to encourage others, even when we are still in pain.

Check in often with your friends. A direct message or a tag helps, simply asking how the individual is. It might be something like my pain is a level five today. How is yours?

Write about hope. You don’t need to write something original. Quotations and scriptures are quite helpful. The Psalms have an abundance of helpful verses. Philosophers from around the world have offered their wisdom. It’s okay to do an Internet search for a quotation about hope or healing.

Post about remedies that help you. We know about how differently we all respond to treatments, how what works for one doesn’t work for another person. So, if something helps you, please share it with others.

Provide updates when you feel better. If you have reached out on a really bad day, put a note on the original post when you are doing better. It lets a new reader know that you got through that episode of pain.

Be kind to everyone. Pain, medication, and disability can make each one of us sensitive. Tread lightly when disagreeing.

Let someone know you are going to say a prayer for him or her. It doesn’t have to sound fancy. Just ask the good Lord to help that individual.

Send something. If you have the person’s email address, a card with good wishes is helpful. Complimentary copies of With Great Mercy are available. Contact Kathy if you would like her to mail one.