In my 200th post (ok, I missed it, it’s really 201) I look back at who I was when I began, and who I am now. Many things have changed, many have stayed the same.I ‘ve always blogged about different things: pain, joy, food, celebrities, loss, egg salad, Food Network, chocolate and people. I blog about whatever I want and I don’t hold back; today my life feels gray and dark and tumultous.
The first bog I posted was tentative and scared; the name of my blog itself (hibernationnow)speaks volumes. I was a frightened and sick bear cub that wanted to burrow under blankets and hide, away from people, from symptoms, from pain, from life. I’d had enough of various illnesses and I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. Since writing had been a passion in high school, I decided to take a chance and try once more, I decided to blog on-line. For me, it was a very bold first step; I hadn’t written anything substantive for more than 35 years. I started with one post, here I am today. When I don’t write in a while, like now, trouble is brewing.
Having chronic pain is not an easy thing to deal with because it in itself is so unforgiving. I have to consciously say out loud ” this is not my fault. ” I have also learned from my blogger friends that “pain is pain” and that I can’t compare my pain to others nor should I diminish it. I give this group of women in the chronic pain world a lot of credit, they will hold you when you need it and tell you the truth when you deserve it. From them I learned that my pain is no greater or no lesser than anyone else’s pain. I hurt, therefore I am. I am now owning my pain. These women in the chronic pain community have given me support, information and emotional good cheer. We keep each other afloat and when one of us is down, the others rally around with gentle hugs. If the world could be run by this group there would be no war.
In the past year there’s been hospitalization, various autoimmune drugs (and their evil side effects) asthma, broken ankles, fibromyalgia and a thyroid with the beat of a listless, dull, old gray-blue pidgeon. I was so nervous about my last routine round of blood tests that I had a full-fledged anxiety attack and needed to take a Xanax but alas I was too far gone and it didn’t help.
For the past three or four days I’ve had excruciating pain in the small of my back and in my legs. Sitting, standing, sleeping or walking, this is a whole new arena of pain that I have never experienced. What is wrong with me? Why is this happening? What’s the matter with me? In this tumbled world of chronic illness I don’t know where this particular pain is from. Is it a side effect from the medicine? Is it a pinched nerve? Is it something new and horrible? Inside, you groan, “oh no, not again….” and still it continues. I am feeling depressed and ill at ease; I am now a stranger in my body and also, my mind.
My husband of 22 years has been unemployed for more than a year now. I’ve handled it well until recently but I think I am at a breaking point. We have a son who is a senior in high school and a daughter who is a junior in high school. The stakes are high at the moment, there seems to be a new challenge every day. There is chaos on top of chaos. I’m trying hard to hold on but I can feel myself slipping. Perhaps my new pain is telling me to breathe, to slow down, to let the stress go. I’m trying.
I am in the eye of the storm and the world is whirling around me and I am stuck in the middle, unable to move, wanting to scream out but being incapable of screaming. There are so many things to do and so many emotions that it feels overwhelming. I am stuck in pain, in conflict, in existence; I need to breathe, to find time to breathe and sit with music as my therapy and Advil by my side. Soon, I will ask for help.