Complain about pain in the rain.

*Mentions suicide.

I’m going to complain about my pain again. [i] It’s not that I think the “out there” behind my computer screen cares in a seriously significant way; it’s that my IRL doesn’t care much at all. The first anniversary of this flare-up/breakdown/test of character I’m failing is approaching fast, and at this point, a lack of understanding is other people’s fault. [ii]

And they do fail to understand. Or ask how things are doing. Or remember that I’m having issues. Or care in a meaningful way. I suspect they think I’m a wimp when it comes to pain: they’ve seen me dramatically react to my neuralgia over the years. If one has never experienced nerve pain, one might think I was over the top. Unfortunately, my circle isn’t much interested in extra-curricular research.

I have an upcoming appointment at the complex joint clinic at Vancouver General Hospital. [iii] I feel like bragging about the referral – look where they’re sending me – but because it only happened when I got desperately aggressive, I also feel like snarling in rage. I should’ve been referred months ago.

I also joined a pain support group. I’m resisting my instinctive tendency towards judgement that allows me to reject helpful things if they aren’t perfect. I’m also fighting the eating disorder traits that remain: groups don’t always work well for people with EDs – we’re too competitive. I found myself wanting to one-up other people’s misery.

Circling back, yes, you can commit accidental suicide. At least, that’s how I’d define it, an accident being “an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in injury.” Dead is injury. And I mostly don’t want to get dead, especially in the daytime, persistent depression and three a.m. despair notwithstanding.

But I’ve crossed the Rubicon before. Once you have, the next time is easier. Contemplating suicide is no longer an incomprehensible horror. I worry that the impulsive despair of the wee small hours will end badly.

I’m not thinking as clearly as I might without the pain and pain control. I’m taking basically everything at this point, bar the hydromorphone I continue to reject. I toss the offer of it out to people who still curl their lips when I explain I’m in pain still. See? My doctor thinks it’s real. We’ll pretend doctors don’t drop narcotics like they’re hot.

There’s also, “Yes, and thanks for not asking.” Passive-aggressive is so tempting when people hurt you. I wish my friends and family weren’t selfish. I’m perfect, of course, or perhaps selfish as well, but doing better by others than they do by me because I make that a priority.

I wish I hadn’t taught people to mistreat me via weak boundaries. You don’t need boundaries with friends and family because they’ll do the right thing, make the best choices, and always think of your needs. Right?

I wish the pain weren’t making my PTSD worse. I perhaps don’t make the best decisions when my PTSD is aggressive.  

The arthritis in my hands and feet is also aggressive. It’s hot, Epsom salt baths every day, at least until my hot water bill comes in. Pain is a costly endeavour. I can’t help but think, as I wake up when the pain breaks through (the sleeping pills my doctor insisted on seem broken), that this test of character may not end the way the viewing audience hopes. I’m trending towards ‘vicious shrew’ rather than ‘inspiration that rises above.’ At least “vicious shrew” gets a laugh track: “rises above” has to live with syrupy ballads that turn into bad commercials in only a few short years.  


Why are you writing this blog post? What are you trying to say? Who do you hope to connect with? Do you have a thesis statement? Is your point clear to your readers early on? Have you included questions to help your readers engage?

I don’t do an especially good job of keeping questions like those above in mind when writing. I’m not a purposeful writer: I’m “seat of my pants” as I let the words flow. I’ll have an idea or a sentence that springs to life in my head, and I go from there. It’s not that I don’t have a moral for the story; it’s that I generally prefer the sideways approach to the cuff to the head.

I also fail when it comes to including questions, mainly because the ones I come up with seem facile and uninspired. I’m interested in people’s thoughts and feelings, but I can’t think of the right questions to convey that sentiment.

This seems like an appropriate moment to say again how grateful I am for those of you who take the time to read what I write. I don’t say it often enough, but I’m so very thankful for you. I appreciate your presence more than mere words can convey.

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Header photo credit: BCRobyn


[i] The title is bad again, at least from a grammar perspective. I think it’s a squinting modifier, but I’d have to look that up to be sure, and I don’t care enough to try.

[ii] I’m letting the adverbs fly today.

[iii] The date is a mystery, a plan for some point in the future (should they find me worthy and should COVID numbers allow). My doctor has filed the request. At least my file has movement.

By Em

I like writing. Words help me unpack my thoughts so that things start to make sense. Once I have both myself and the universe figured out, I plan to take up macrame. "Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing, and learn as you go." E. L. Doctorow

11 comments

    1. It’s exciting: I never go to Vancouver anymore. I’ll get pocked and prodded, and redo the same tests I’ve done before because doctors are apparently incapable of reading anything that happened from yesterday on back. Once done, however, there’s the option for fresh thrift stores. I have high hopes for things I want at criminally cheap prices 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I have found humour to be quite helpful over the years, though sometimes I’m so dry that the Sahara would explain. As long as one isn’t using it for denial…

      Like

  1. “I’m resisting my instinctive tendency towards judgment that allows me to reject helpful things if they aren’t perfect.” As someone from the other side of the barricade – I appreciate the effort. When someone struggles with anything and you give them all sorts of suggestions (out of care) and they reject them all without trying because they don’t sound perfect, it leads to issues. So, thank you.

    I’m sorry you continue to struggle with finding understanding and support in your immediate environment. People suck.

    I hope that you remain strong and level-headed in the face of weakness (not that having issues with withstanding terrible chronic pain is a weakness, but I mean the part about the “wee hours” and “the Rubicon.”

    Your posts are a great read. No mission statement is necessary. Questions? I struggled with that for a long time, but everyone and their mother insisted that it boosts engagement. Does it really? I’m still not convinced. However, I have been told that people don’t know what to say if they don’t have questions as some sort of a prompt (which I find somewhat weird but OK).

    Take it easy and stay golden!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It’s lovely to hear from the people you’ve come to think of as friends. It’s been a couple of days that hit new records for stress, culminating with my dad now down for the count with double pneumonia. Sigh. I’m not ready for aging parents. I thought I was, but I was in pseudo-acceptance, aka denial. 🤍

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You are a superb writer Em. I’m so sorry you are walking a difficult path which must be brutal a lot of the time! Maybe ‘writing it out’ is one way of exhaling from all the pain, even if just for a moment. Keep writing! Your way with words is a gift!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely compliment. It’s been a full moon cycle for the record books: this is my first day on the blog in three days and your comment is just what I didn’t know I needed. Blessings. 🤍

      Like

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