In “The Chronicles of Riddick,” the titular character is told by the Purifier, as they observe “converts” receiving the Necromonger mark, that the sufferers are learning how one pain can lessens another.
I always thought the Purifier was incorrect. New pain doesn’t cure old pain. It does, however, distract, which allows you to shift your focus for a time. It’s not the best strategy. If it was always effective and the best choice, no one would try to quit negative behaviours. We’d simply introduce new tortures and move on with our lives.
If one pain cured another, my mental anguish would’ve disappeared as soon as I started vomiting up the food I ate. The unfortunate truth is that human beings are excellent multitaskers. We may be distracted from old “truths” and behaviours by new pain for a time, but we eventually adapt, and old problems return.
The nasty pain in my hips and spine (and thumbs and shoulder) is most likely arthritis. There’s a variety of choices: osteo, rheumatoid, psoriatic, menopausal. None are good. I like rheumatoid the least because it’s an autoimmune response: it’s also the one I’m leaning towards. Mostly because I want to. Still, until an actual doctor gets around to doing some more tests, I’m going to be playing the waiting game. And in my world, that means choosing the worst option.
Initially, I was mental-pain lessened. The feelings in my joints made me want to vomit, and the flashes of greater intensity left me cringing and hissing, with the occasional yelp and collapse. I try to remember to giggle when the pain hits, so I don’t upset people in my vicinity, but if it’s sudden, shocking, and severe, I occasionally forget.
When I first started to have issues, my other neuroses packed themselves off for a vacation. I guess they sensed I was distracted and wouldn’t be giving them the attention they’re used to receiving. They came back, though, invigorated and having given up waiting. Since the pain appears to be eternal, they’ve decided to play well together.
I’m thrilled. There’s nothing better than limping about the house in an “impeded from regular functioning” kind of way while hating on yourself for recent weight gains, an imperfect body, and a moderately mutilated face.
To be fair, the self-hatred is muted in comparison to past attacks. I guess it’s hard to drum up the necessary enthusiasm when your thumbs feel like they’re on fire.
Huh. The Purifier was correct. One pain does lessen another. His evaluation wasn’t the problem: I need to listen with better ears.
Lessen, not absent.
And, while absent would be a stellar and much-desired result, less is good too. Except for the part where it comes with pain. On the bright side, I’m making the utility companies happy with my surfeit of “I pay for water and gas heating” baths.