*If at any point in reading this point you don't want to hear what I have to say, by all means go somewhere else more chipper. I'm not trying to be a downer, just REAL. My pain hasn't been this bad since last summer, so there's going to by typos and things that don't make sense. But the mind gets sluggish on drugs and pain, so leave now if you are not in the mood. However, I'm not in the mood for it either. So why don't you just deal with it like me!
My tears are on the inside today. But I'm sure, that sometime during the course of this post, that they will surface. And I think that's good.
It's strange, but sometmes i think the healing that comes in our lives comes in waves. I think I've made a break-through, and then months or even a year later the same issue surfaces, but i'm able to deal with it on a deeper level.
It's like what Shrek said about himself, that he's like an Onion-He has layers. I've realized that our emotions are like that....and eventually I'll get to the middle of my onion, until there isn't a layer yet to unlayer.
but today there is.
It's been really strange the last few days. I've had two migraines, but even when the migraine was gone, I found myself smack-dab in the middle of a memory, or more correctly, memories....and the pain that surrounds them.
The other night I swear, I could literally reach out and touch it with my fingers. It was so there, right in front of my face. One minute life as usual and the next minute sadness/grief/loneliness, uninvited, unwanted, yet present with me like an unwanted WART!
There have been so many times that I have been able to do nothing else than to lay in my bed and deal with my pain. For hours, and hours, and sadly to say, even days.
I don't say this to make anyone feel sorry for me.
I say this because it is the truth. And unfortunately, sometimes its my reality, although only intermittent. The fortunately part is that I'm getting about 60% less than I was 5 months ago. Hence, the Blog.
Off the bunny-rabbit trail now: What the memory was the other night, was how this suffering felt to me as a young child. About the age of my daughter. Granted the pain didn't last as long then, and I could go to sleep and wake-up pain free. But it was the laying in bed waiting for sleep to come that is the painful part.
O.K. tears, I welcome you.
These were dark times. And they might not have been so dark then, but they grew into darker times.
I used to wish, as I laid there in bed, with my 9/10 year-old self, that I was dead.
I used to pray, so hard, and so ferverently and with such conviction that God would let me die right then and there. Now maybe they were innocent and childlike thoughts, but unfortunately for me, they eventually grew into an ingrained way of thinking when I was experiencing this chronic pain.
I don't think that way now. At least since September, which may not seem very long since that was 26 years of thought patterns, I have not even remotely had any thoughts like that whatsoever. Even right now, having as much pain as I did last summer when my thoughts really spun out of control, I don't have those thoughts. And as much as I hurt, and hurt that even the whispers and footsteps of my well-behaved children drive me to tears, I have peace.
So what's the change? Did I find religion? No, I already had that. Did I find faith in something bigger than myself? Well, that may be getting closer, but I honestly know I had that too. Part of the difference is Hope. Hope that something will help me. Hope that someone will help me. Hope that my loved ones will insist that I be helped.
The layer that's getting unpeeled right now (and really, that's a statement of faith...that I'm not suffering for nothing) is this: coming to terms with some things that I just don't understand, and, which inadvertantly evolved into emotional suffering during my physical suffering. (***First I have to interject, don't think I'm morbid but I don't think our lives will ever be free of suffering. I believe that we are promised suffering, but hope to overcome. So if anyone is thinking about encouraging me right now that we could be, should be, or ever will be suffering-free,....don't. If I wasn't suffering with migraines it would be something else, at some other point in my life. Suffering can cause us to need a Hope, and that's not a bad thing. Sometimes we people are stubborn and will only search out a Hope if we suffer. OK, off the preaching platform now.)
See, here's how it is and was for me, I'll just lay it out. Migraines weren't my only problem as a kid. I had another chronic health issues that required weekly medical attention. I got that medical attention, my needs were met, I was well-cared for. And I was pretty little. Between 7 and 8 years old. Now what I'm about to describe didn't happen on purpose, wasn't meant to be malicious, hurtful or depressing....it was done w/ love and all the best intentions in the world...to protect me. But unfortunately I've realized, that it did just the opposite. It encouarged me not to Hope.
Here's how it went: I was walking into the specialist's office after a year of treatments. The treatments could have been worse, but they were painful for me and every week when I went in, I had to play mind games with myself to handle the pain. That's O.K., I was coping and learning. Other kids would freak out. I saw them scream, yell and freak out. I on the other hand, stayed cool, O.K. maybe I was just keeping the same thing inside....but I didn't create a scene.
Anyway, after a year of treatments we went to the specialist to check on my progress and see if I had "graduated" and if the treatments could stop. On the way in the door I said, "Do you think Dr. so-and-so will say I won't ever have to come back?" I said this with Hope, but also with fear because I really didn't want to have another year of treatments.
Smiling, holding my hand, and very compassionately as not too see me crushed in disappointment, I was very kindly told (please don't misinterpret, I am NOT being sarcastic), "Don't get your hopes up."
Best of intentions, and on one hand, very good advice. But I've realized, that Hope is a very dangerous thing to lose. It's a very dangerous thing to give up in order to handle up-coming disappointment. And for me, because other problems were to come, which granted, no one could foresee....I desperately needed that Hope. Don't get me wrong. I don't think I should have been lied to, or appeased with sugar-coated words, like: "Oh probably, I can't imagine Dr. so-and-so saying anything else." Or: "You've been doing so well, he probably will say that."
I won't say what I wish was said. Because it didn't happen. Because people are people, and they can't predict or foresee the future. No one knows the right thing to say at every time. And I know, for a fact, that I've said the wrong thing many times. I'm not being negative, vindictive, slanderous or unforgiving. I'm just laying out what happened....
What I do know, is that "Don't get your hopes up," combined with, "Yes, Doctor, she has migraines but I don't think they are bad enough to require medicine yet," became a very toxic combination when I NEVER got any medicine to help with the migraines. (Until now, even though they are hit and miss and not always dependable.) This is where the pattern started of pain-laying in bed-here goes the suffering again-no one is going to help me-nothing will take away this pain-there is no Hope that someone will help you with this pain cycle started.
Fast forward to today: As I laid in my bed a few minutes ago, I had Hope that within the next few hours or day that I will be pain free. I had Hope that even if it gets worse and I can't handle it that my husband will take me to the Doctor and say "Damn it, this is ridiculous, get this lady some help." Oh, do you know what a wonderful feeling that is? It brings tears of Joy to know that he will hold my hand and fight for me. No, he can't save me, and the Doctor's can't save me....but knowing he will do that for me is so wonderful, so healing, and helps me endure.
I am so grateful. So grateful that I have Hope. So appreciative that I have it because it is such a dark thing to be without. I've learned that suffering people want someone to hold their hand, someone to hold them up when they can't stand, someone to kick some ass until answers are at least searched for, someone to love them when they don't handle their suffering with grace and most importantly, someone to say with them: This sucks, I hate it too, this isn't fair but we have to Hope there is an end and we'll find it together.
Ahhh....there it was. The words I wanted to hear. Did you see how they slipped out? That caught me by surprise too...."THIS SUCKS, I HATE IT TOO, THIS ISN'T FAIR BUT WE HAVE TO HAVE HOPE THAT THERE IS AN END AND WE'LL FIND IT TOGETHER."
***I took at least 5 more hand-held Specialist trips before I finally heard: "You're done now, you don't have to go through another year of weekly treatments." Each trip was hard, each trip was disappointing, and each one got a little more discouraging. BUT, and this is a good but, now I make my trips with Hope and when I feel week, I take DH with me to say things I have difficulty saying for myself. But I never go without my Hope and I never leave w/out it either, no matter what I'm told by the Doctor.
I'm going to go back to bed now, to my heating pad, Tiger Balm, peppermint oil and maybe even some Percocet. I'll enjoy the peace and quiet until DH gets back with the kids from bike riding. And fortunately, he's taking them to Portland to watch my nephew play basketball @ Portland State: 12 all-star players from Washington & Oregon play against each other and he has been selected as one of them, even with a knee injury. I will stay home and take care of myself. What is so hard on a day like today, is that my very sweet, well-behaved children have fun without me. That they see me cry. That even the potato chip bag being closed three rooms away makes me cringe. That their muffled voices and noises outside under my bedroom window bring me to tears. The peace and quiet helps so much and I am lucky to have a DH that recognizes that and will move heaven & earth to give it to me.
I sense that another layer is being peeled away today. This is a good thing, my kids need me to be free. Maybe they won't see me free of pain, but free of Hopelessness. Part of me says,"Damn it, that's a shitty thing for them to learn." But the other part of me says, "What an important lesson for them to learn."
Lastly, I'm not finger-pointing. I'm not saying it's some person's fault for saying/not saying something I felt should/shouldn't have been said or that someone's words and actions screwed me up.
I'm not saying that at all.
What I'm saying is that I suffer, we all suffer, and if I didn't suffer in this way, it would be another.
I'm not saying I'm mad, although I do find myself a little sad sometimes. I do think that there's some things that I don't understand. I am saying that each and every one of us has Shit to deal with, this happens to be mine, yours is different, but its Shit none-the-less. Really, its what we do with the Shit, or what we don't do with it that makes or breaks us, that makes or breaks our children. It's how our kids see us wrestle out our feelings as we come to terms with it in a somewhat healthy way.
Why would I share all this? 1.) I KNOW others hurt and I hope those hurting people will read this and know that they are not alone, and be encouraged. 2.) This is part of my life, fortunately not the ONLY part of my life anymore, but a part non-the-less. I have to cope and writing is such a good way to process. The Percocet has now made me loopy and numbed it somewhat but my heart feels at rest because I know my suffering today is producing something good in my life.
Hold it, did I just say that? Boy that's really sick & twisted but its true....today anyway.
Not trying to get "preachy" on 'ya but if you've read this far, then I'll leave you with this. I think it is true to my situation at this very moment:
"....Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted,...." Mathew 5:4 (The NIV Bible)