I live with the debilitating and incurable Ankylosing Spondylitis. It's a chronic disease which means it's not going anywhere, isn't going to kill me but does make life very, very hard. My pain can, on a very bad day, reach the level of childbirth without the obvious prospect of new life at the end of it
Waking up and being in pain straight away is beyond depressing and demoralising, but I'd always pick this one over being woken up by the pain. Both options are so tough, lonely, and exhausting, though. They also feel indescribable. Words somehow just don't do being-in-constant-severe-pain justice at all.
I'm a man in a fairly patriarchal culture, in a stream of the Christian church that has often overtly pushed the idea of 'strong' masculinity; where male Christians are routinely referred to as 'warriors' and the 'head of the family'; where a mega-church pastor once spoke of not wanting to worship a Jesus that he could beat up.