I’ve been struggling with this post a really long time.
The reason for the conflict is simple: I’ve presented a fairly consistent image of successful pain management techniques here. And for the most part, that’s been true. Heck, it’s been completely true – until fairly recently.
What happened was this: I found myself in a hellish situation — staying with some friends (now former friends) who … wow, how to put this? Let’s say “had some issues.” They, and their kids, systematically worked over the course of several months to make life harder than it had to be. And it all ended in a fabricated explosion designed to push us out — myself and my child, that is.
Well, you don’t have to tell me twice. Despite the massive amounts of stress and pain I was dealing with, I managed to pack us up and get out within a day. We drove two hours late at night, ending up at a hotel in Raleigh, NC, where I slept for the first time in over six months on a real bed. The next day, we met my brother for lunch, then took off yet again in the poorly-air-conditioned car – this time for Savannah, a good six hours away.
That’s where I am now — my daughter is spending a few days with her dad in South Carolina — staying with a true friend who needed some help and had an extra bedroom.
The truth is: I am quite literally homeless. Without a place to call home – at least, of my own.
That’s what chronic pain has done to me. I am unemployable, I have lost the law license I worked so hard for, and I have no home and no regular income — all because I have chronic pain.
The reality of this has made me even sicker, much as the insane additional amounts of emotional stress have contributed to it as well. The practicalities are that I have had to steel my body to do things it just is not capable of doing in the past weeks. And it is screaming at me right now.
“Do you get it yet? Has it soaked in through your incredibly thick skull yet? You are DISABLED, you moron.”
I hate it when my body yells at me. It’s so … rude.
I have no idea what’s going to happen. For the first time, I’m scared. Truly, bone-crunching-ly, soul-shaking-ly scared. This arrangement won’t last much longer — it can’t, because I won’t let my friend take on one more thing she has to fix at the expense of herself, and because … well, I just won’t let it. And what happens then feels like one huge question mark.
All I can do now is cry, while my daughter isn’t here to see me, and lie here on this bed, because I can’t sit up without wanting to scream. And while I know this current level of pain will not last — it never does — it will ease, and I will rise again — the enormity of the other problems makes it all seem like one great big giant taffy ball of evil trying to trap me in a box.
Perspective is hard to come by these days, in other words. So if you’ve come here looking for “thriving!” tips (gaaah, I want to rip that word from the English language right about now), you might want to go elsewhere for awhile. Or look through the happy/healthy archives. Stay away from current posts for awhile. Because I’m fresh out of thriving. Because the truth, quite literally, hurts like hell.