Monday, August 27, 2012

You don't really know unless you experience it yourself.

My mother lives with chronic pain and has since I was in middle school. I've seen her on her good days and when she's at her worst. We've fought, cried, nearly killed each other and there were days that I prayed that she would die not because I wanted her too, I would be devastated, but because I just wanted her to have some peace. It's really hard to listen to a woman who is like an Amazon and never cries, sob because the pain is so terrible she can't stand it. It is hard to come home and find her lying on the floor because she's in so much pain her body or mind says 'fuck you' and switches off and by that I mean she just went out, lost consciousness. I used to tell her that "I know you hurt and I get it it," or "I understand" and I was trying to be understanding and supportive but really I didn't have a fucking clue only an observers point of view.

Several years later and my mother still lives with chronic pain and now so do I. I don't know what I have done to my back but I've done something. While I don't have pain in the same places my mother does, I have pain in my lower back, down through my hip and my right leg. Sometime I even have pain on the left side. I have been in so much pain that I could not walk, sleep, go to the bathroom on my own, or take a shower on my own. Still, when my worst days have past I do my best to keep moving.

It's not just physical pain that comes with chronic pain. I already suffer from severe depression and social phobias though most people wouldn't know because I hide it and don't let a lot of people really see. After I hurt myself those things became much worse. And what's the first thing I did, shut more people out because I couldn't deal with anything else. Also because I didn't want to complain too much. Feelings like "I'm a parasite because I can no longer help support myself" became more frequent. Suicidal thoughts sprouted and bloomed more often. I haven't tried but damn have I thought about it, made plans, even told my girlfriend that she would be better off without me. I've felt ashamed of myself, disappointed, furious, frustrated, angry, raw, mentally over stimulated and taxed. It is very hard to focus on much of anything when I hurt really bad and when I am very depressed which just makes everything worse.

Through all of it I still try to get out of the house once a day, keep pushing to do house work and cook because that's the only way I can contribute and because you have to keep moving. I try to do things that keep me busy and that I enjoy so I'm not so depressed. I've even entered into a pain study to see if that will help in some way, even a little bit.

Some days are better than others and always I have the fear of waking up in so much pain I can't move. It is hard to watch everyone around you go to work, go to school, have mostly normal lives while you're stuck not making much progress. I know I am a writer and most people say "well this is an opportunity for you to write more and get that book written and published". That's all fine and dandy but when it hurts to sit in a chair and so much you can't think, you can't really write much of anything. Worse is when you can't get your head clear enough to even think straight. So you have to try to find something else to do which is also frustrating because you can't even do what you love.

So, now I feel like I can say, "Yeah, Mom, I really do get it. I know how much it hurts and how frustrating it is. I know how much you wish you just had a break from it to have a normal day."

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