(Not a definitive description. Not even a drop in the ocean of the different experiences of just one person.)
In my head an awareness of pain sits like static from across the room. It hums at me, irksome and untouchable, just off kilter enough to make me feel irritable. But I am used to this and concentration on other things allows me to forget it is there. Stopping reminds me, getting tired reminds me, I remind me.
Sometimes the buzz of static grows bluebottles. Extra whining buzzes on top of the dull hum. They swoop closer or settle silent only to be raised up by something unexpected. I cannot see the cause of the bluebottles, I don’t know why the short bursts of extra pain appear or settle down again. I cannot open the window for them or squash them, I must be quiet and hope they fall asleep or find their own way out and leave just me and the static.
Bad days are when the white noise of pain that makes it so hard to concentrate gets so loud I can barely hear people’s words or complete simple tasks. Bad days are when I can’t decide if I need utter isolation to practice breathing or to do everything at once to try and shut it out until I am so exhausted I can sleep. Bad days are snappy, weepy, untouchable, unpredictable, pacing-the-floor, staring-at-the walls days.
But Good days, well I like good days. On good days painkillers work, on good days birdsong is more distracting than the static, on good days I am strong enough.
[Incidentally this description is equally valid for Chronic physical pain and for the mental pain of depression]