I get a lot of sympathy, I suppose, some pity I'm sure, but just letting me be in all my goods and bads for better or worse sobbing in pain in self-styled tragedy and loathing in disappointment and frustration and complete despair--near to never. How can I expect that from anyone who hasn't felt each moment of every day like a branding iron searing the seconds just before they pass, marking and damaging them before they can trod through my skull in my heart and whatever dust I have that amounts to a soul--how?
Do two en-dashes make an em-dash?
Alphonse Daudet wrote, In the Land of Pain, a number of notes, fragments of thought, observations of his own physical state and its effect on those around him, to which I relate wholly, and other turns of phrase so beautiful as to take my breath away:
- 'What are you doing at the moment?'
- 'I am in pain.'
- . . .
- Very strange, the fear that pain inspires in me nowadays -- or rather, this pain of mine. It's bearable, and yet I cannot bear it. It's sheer dread: and my resort to anaesthetics is like a cry for help, the squeal of a woman before danger actually strikes.
- . . .
- Ephemerality of my impressions: smoke against a wall.
- Effect of intense emotions: like going down two steps at a time. You feel as if you're drawing on the very source of life itself, as if you're attacking your capital, low as it already is.
- . . .
- A sort of hollowing-out that doesn't go away.
- . . .
- I'm a poor old wounded Don Quixote, sitting on his arse in his armour at the foot of a tree.
- . . .
- Are words actually any use to describe what pain (or passion, for that matter) really feels like? Words only come when everything is over, when things have calmed down. They refer only to memory, and are either powerless or untruthful.
- No general theory about pain. Each patient discovers his own, and the nature of pain varies, like a singer's voice, according to the acoustics of the hall.
- . . .
- What we want diminishes to fill the smaller space available. Today, I don't even want to get better -- just to keep on at the same level.
- . . .
- The garden awakening. The blackbird: his song making a pattern on the pale window -- a pattern drawn, warbled with the tip of his beak.
- . . .
- Pain is always new to the sufferer, but loses its originality for those around him. Everyone will get used to it except me. [emphasis mine]
Aside from the simple elegance of his writing that moves all that loves words in me, reading this is like ripping out my own heart to have for lunch, being force-fed yet somehow still party to it, sharing a guilty secret, having my pants pulled down in front of an audience, choking on tears. And I think about that in vivid detail--cutting/ripping through skin, fat, muscle, breaking the breastplate with some inhuman claw-fist (Ichabod's gift to me?) to grasp, at last, the lopsided, still-pumping organ. Feel its beat die in my palm. Examine its curves, its orifices, while the rest of me shuts down without it.
I can't sleep.
I forgot to take my meds, the doses of which are so high that missing them in the morning will make me sick AND in major pain by the afternoon. Halfway through the second class, I felt like a victim in Scanners. I lied on the sofa in the kitchen of this old church, behind the stage, and just. . . fucking cried. It felt like my body saying, who the hell do you think you are trying to live a normal life? along with everything I think and feel recurrently around this idea/theme bombards me at once and it's just simply too much. And I felt like such an asshole for abandoning my post as "co-instructor" and for inevitably making some kind of scene, no matter how minimal.
And Jesse (that second class' main instructor and all-around wonderful creature) was so kind to try to do. . . anything? at all for me. Not much to be done. Who the fuck wants to deal with that kind of shit, man? How IMPOSSIBLE is that situation for people? My own MOTHER is done with it. She can't handle this me this most of me anymore. What IS there when someone is so in need of some kind of help and nothing absolutely nothing you can do will help?
That is how most people seem to feel. The thing is, I don't ned HELP from people -- not from my friends and my loved ones, except on rare occasion (as in rides to the emergency room &c.). 5 neurologists, 2 acupuncturists, 2 chiropractors, an allergist, a rheumatologist, 2 physical therapists, a spinal surgeon, a myriad of massage therapists, a few psychics/spiritualists, my physician, and 2 pain specialists HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH ME OR WHAT IS EVEN CAUSING MY PAIN. The thing I NEED from the people who love me is to just keep fucking loving me. Just be there. That's all.
I don't know why it hurts so much just to type that, even knowing most of the people its meant for will never read it. I am so weary. I am tired. I don't want this to be my life anymore. I want to lose the weight I've gained in the couple+ years of my in-valid-ity so I feel just a smidgen less undesirable than I already do, but chronic pain, nausea, vertigo, and fatigue don't inspire the gym-freak I used to be towards resurrection. I want to make it through a day without fantasizing about decapitating myself. I want to want to live.
I also just confessed my crush to my crush in an email, which is probably the dumbest and most inconsiderate way I could do it, but as I got out of bed and wandered into this realm of paper-pyramid chaos, driven as I was by despair at the discomfort that kept sleep from me, "fuck it, fuck it all" and "what's the point?" were the top sentiments regarding just about everything in my life at the moment.
See? See how old this gets? There she goes again. But it's not again. It's brand new to me, even if I've said and felt similar things before, because trauma doesn't get bored with itself, and that's what chronic pain IS--constant, daily trauma. This is why chronic pain sufferers have such high suicide rates. But I DO feel like I'm repeating myself and I feel whiny and complainy all the time and I see it getting old and tiresome and pointless for people around me, and I have absolutely no idea what to do about that.
Maybe that's what disturbs me most. Maybe that's why I got out of bed, more than the ice picks in my head and the early-stage withdrawal nausea--how can I maintain my grasp on what little semblance of life I have left?
How to buoy this leaden hull?