Monday, August 18, 2014

Low Tide

It has been awhile since my last blog, as my creativity was temporarily out of order. I've been over-saturated with the dark part of my disease. There is a misnomer about physical pain affecting only the physical part of a person. It actually affects the WHOLE person, mind, body and spirit, and that is where I have been.

I've been all wrapped up in this pain that makes me feel like I have a straightjacket on physically, emotionally and spiritually. My body is controlled by the pain, my mind is controlled by the pain and my spirit is controlled by the pain. As much as I try to remain positive, there are times (ie. the last few weeks) when I feel completely paralyzed by my pain on every level, and I feel ashamed, because it makes me feel weak.

It's like an eclipse of the sun when everything gradually dims, and suddenly you find yourself in complete darkness with no light except the low wattage flashlight from your heart that reminds you with every beat that you are still alive. Were it not for that pounding heartbeat this past week, there were times when I thought perhaps I was dying. My mind and spirit felt as though they were shutting down. I was detaching myself from long-term goals and hopes for love and romance. I stopped imagining the type of aunt I'd be to my young nephews when they grew up and planning how to make my book-writing dreams come true. There was no future. I was sinking and scared.

Like a snow storm, my severe pain has made it impossible to see even an hour ahead of the present. It takes ALL of me to keep me on track, the pain would happily derail me at any time. It's like a wicked imaginary friend who sometimes makes living very challenging. Surviving each moment is a feat of great proportion. The physical pain is horrible but its the emotional and spiritual pains that are the hardest. My pain is like a veil of darkness that falls upon my mind and spirit, sucking out any hope of escaping the nightmare my body is enduring. It suffocates me emotionally.   

The physical pain makes me hurt to move, to breathe, to think. I have been isolated by my illness for so many years, keeping me at home for the most part, as I can't drive on my medications. It is hard to do a lot between my physical pain and my need for oxygen. However, in the past week, it has isolated me to my bed for the most part. I have been so overwhelmed and depressed, and my spirit has no energy.  Last week I found myself staring at a wall in the dark. By the time I realized I was doing it, more than an hour had passed. I have been immobilized by this pain and what it is doing to my life.

In a week I'll be 38. I'm on disability. I haven't been in a relationship or even a date for eight years. I don't remember what it feels like to kiss a man or just hold hands. And for as much as I would love to meet someone, I don't know how any man will ever want to kiss a woman who in on oxygen. I can see it now; I'll be making out with someone in my bed, we'll be rolling around in passion and we'll get wrapped up in my oxygen tubing, and our arms will be wrapped so tight that we can't reach our cell phones to call for help. Hmm.... not entirely my idea of reigniting my love life.

As I write this, I feel so much shame. I'm ashamed of the pain, of my shortcomings because of the pain, and of my future if the pain continues as bad as it is today. I feel like I sound like a whiny wimp, and the last thing I want is to sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself. That's the last thing I want, the last thing I think any chronic pain patients want.  I create these posts to reach out to others with similar challenges, with the hopes of making them feel less alone on their journeys with pain and all its manifestations.

I share these experiences in an effort to make a difference, to inspire, to reach out. I suppose I'm sharing my lows, my weaknesses, to let others know that it's OK to admit to those feelings, because they ARE real, they ARE valid, and they are a large part of life with chronic pain. I don't want to be pitied, just like I doubt others do. This post is about the human condition in midst of this war. I've always heard the saying, "Leave no man behind."

I will not leave you behind. Keep reading.