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Pain, etc.

Added on by Nadine Friedman.

Friday night and I’m home, watching Gone Girl aGain, reading blogs about chronic pain, icing my awful hips and working, instead of divorcing this from my identity, to accept it is part of my identity.

I get angry sometimes, especially this spring and summer, so wasted on pain. But mostly I'm sad. 

Infrequently, I bargain with a universe insisting on teaching me lessons about selfishness

endurance

humiliation

isolation

unfunny jokes. I will trade this affliction for another. I will take worse headaches if you give me back pain free legs. Go back and give me one extra month in between my mother dying of a chronic disease and me contracting one. Shit… what I would do with that month. 

Don't worry, universe, I know that's not how it works.  

I feel saturated in pain sometimes, like Carrie up there, exposed in her bucket of blood. Sometimes I feel like Carrie, yes, and am astounded nobody sees the drenching pain when they're looking at me, because it feels so bright and I bring it everywhere. I am not always clear about it, but one could detect it in unreturned phone calls 

ambivalent planmaking

or wanting to leave, soon? Do you mind if we leave soon? I'm sorry, I just need to split. I'm sorry. 

I bargain not for my old life, not even for my old body when I was hot

 thin

 bratty

 bulimic

a gymorexic and control freak, terrified of sickness- but for when my body belonged to me. I miss the body, sure, but I mostly miss what it’s like to own it. When it was MINE, instead of unpredictable, unfixable. The irony, man. 

What I would do for that extra month, and how I would repair all all all the months before and be grateful instead of paranoid. I would not harm my body. 

I am not missing out on the world; it just feels like I should be moving along with it.  

I just can’t fully commit to the world, nor do I always know how I will fit in it

 forget about pain 

how to communicate to my loved ones I often feel deeply alone

I sometimes beg for my Old Self, but then I remember this is who I am. Pain is part of my life; I am supposed to be cool about it but I am troubled. I am troubled sometimes by this five year old, new me who believes, resolutely, there is no break from suffering, no matter life's pleasures like my marriage

 work

dog

family

career

academia and incredible ideas and 

my wonderful friendships and community

There is so much I can talk about that is good, but sometimes I only want to think about pain.  

Lyme Disease opened up and challenged me in good ways- my projects

my creativity

my feelings about my mother, and my empathy 

my relationship with my husband. I would still take Lyme five years ago, because who might I have been otherwise? What wouldn't I have learned?

I don’t always want those lessons. Lyme is horrific and scarring, though I am otherwise healthy and doctors these days surprisingly take me at my word that I am not free of it, from the nerve pain and the constant headaches, the grief. The joke of lost pregnancies and the deep belief that I am septic. 

I have been run over and there is leftover stuff I cannot fix and I want to fix it. All I want is to be fixed. 

I'm smart woman. I don’t always need lessons; I could have figured at least some of this shit out on my own.  How savagely I feel about this.

I know nothing stays the same.  But I misread this often; instead of finding peace, I fight. I fix.  

I know:

things are  worse for others (people remind me of this sometimes) 

I am lucky and alive

I work harder and take no good days for granted

this disease, plainly, made me a better person.

And more often than not, the pain of the world overwhelms me more than my own.  

I have to accept this, integrate the Friday nights when the pain won't allow me see anyone. Or speak. Accept that this is my life.

I am really

really

fucking

trying