a woman emerging from thorns

How I Manage the Pain Associated with HS

It’s no lie that the pain associated with HS can be unbearable and agonizing. For those of you with HS, you know exactly what I mean. For those of you that don’t have it, imagine having the most excruciating abscesses on some of your most sensitive, embarrassing, and private areas. Imagine not being able to walk, take a shower, or even go to the bathroom without gut-wrenching physical and mental pain. Imagine having these multiple abscesses on different spots of your body all at the same time.

That sounds pretty painful and unpleasant, right?

Well living with HS really is painful and unpleasant, so for me, it is crucial to have some distractions. Having distractions is one of my favorite ways to mentally manage my HS. Harping on the way you’re feeling won’t do anything except make you feel worse. Try to mentally distract yourself to help distract from the physical pain!

Here are some of my favorite things to do as distractions:


I absolutely love to read and I have since I learned to read in first grade. Since my HS diagnosis, I read even more. It’s going to sound very cliche, but books can literally take you anywhere. I can go to a fictional magical school like Hogwarts, or the beach, Egypt, or Antarctica! When I read, I’m immediately transported to that far away land and it helps distract me from laying in bed or on the couch in pain.

Draw or color

Art is a beautiful way to express how you’re feeling or great to use to focus on something other than your HS. I love drawing how I’m feeling or my favorite cartoon characters. I also have a sketchbook of 642 things to draw and it’s so fun to flip to a random page and draw whatever it says on it.

Oh? So you say you can’t draw? So get a coloring book and color! You’re never too old to enjoy a relaxing form of self expression!

Try to find the humor in the situation

Making memes is my personal cup of tea. I use my memes as diary entries in a way. I can talk about how I’m feeling, bad doctor trips, or really anything that’s going on with me and my HS. It’s so therapeutic and using comedy really helps me cope. I also love posting my memes online so others can help be distracted from the pain. If you laugh even just for a second, that’s all I could ever hope for with my memes.

Self care

You deserve to try and feel as good as you possibly can. Take a bath. Put on a face mask. Make a cup of tea. Scroll mindlessly on social media or even turn off your phone and relax. You do whatever it takes to take care of yourself and try to feel better!

Watch your favorite show or movie from your childhood

It’s like instant serotonin for me. Putting on my favorite shows and movies is an instant comfort. Nothing makes me feel more cozy than curling up on the couch with a lot of blankets and watching one of my favorite things from when I was younger.

Spiceworld, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, The Outsiders, the Harry Potter movies, and That 70s Show, thank you for your continued support through these trying times.

Pain medicine

If all else fails, do not ever be ashamed to take pain medicine. Whether it’s over-the-counter Tylenol, something prescribed by your doctor, or THC, do not ever feel guilty. HS is honestly so painful and if that helps with the pain, so be it!

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