Sunday, January 13, 2013
The Voracious Beast Of Pain
The worst part of living with chronic pain, is not the physical pain, nor the psychological pain that comes with it. It is the knowledge that every day a tiny piece of your heart and soul are devoured by the pain, never to return. Pain is hungry, never satisfied and over time it grows worse as whatever injury or illness causes the pain progresses and worsens. Each bite it swallows is a tiny bit larger than the last. Being eaten alive daily by a monster with a voracious appetite that can not be seen, touched, heard, felt, or smelled by others; only the sufferer's 5 senses are totally aware of it., While others walk away from, judge, ridicule, or (do) worse to their friend or loved one who now has a chronic illness or chronic pain condition, taking with them another little piece of the sufferer. With each negative word, each snide comment, they steal another small piece; never realizing the damage they are doing and have done. They can't. They can't put themselves in our shoes. Why not? It's quite simple, because to accept that a human being can continue to live day in and day out in extreme pain every day is absolutely terrifying; if it can happen to their friend/loved on then it can happen to them. Things that terrify people are things the people chose to actively (and some with great vigor) go out of their way to put down, minimize, marginalize and ignore. Why? Because it could be them. People despise what they fear, they always have and so they must vilify it; make it evil and wrong in the eyes of other people. As a result we are called malingerers, players, addicts, lazy, manipulators who just want to live off of other's, mentally disturbed and so much more. People are terrified of having their own frailty and mortality held in front of them like a mirror. No one wants to be reminded that their bodies will not always be strong and healthy, that they will grow old and weak and eventually die. To admit that this occurs, is to face the fear of not just death, but the terror that death is the end and there is nothing more. That their body is just as frail and prone to infection, injury or disease as the bodies' of the millions of chronically ill people and those who suffer with chronic pain every day. That they are not immune and it could be them one day. The fear is overwhelming and rather than face it and open their hearts and minds to the true compassion that does exist in every human (there is always a good to balance a bad; not everyone utilizes both sides of the self..usually just one or the other) being, they run from it and do everything they can to make it impossible within their own minds to even consider that a disabled/illl/suffering person did not bring it upon themselves; or they do their best to just ignore the disabled/ill/suffering person as a liar. For them, it is easier to live with the self-delusion than to open their hearts and minds to truly care for the sufferings of others. But I digress...
The pain, it is a insatiable beast, devouring pieces of it's victim every day. Taking away their strength, will to survive, and lastly hope for even a 1 minute respite.What happens when it is all gone, when the beast has eaten the last shred of hope? When the pain has finally eaten that last sliver we die, and we do so with thanks that the pain is finally over. This can be either a physical death, or a mental/emotional one where the sufferer's mind (totally overwhelmed and completely exhausted) gives up the fight and just leaves the body; leaving the sufferer comatose, catatonic, totally dissociating or pushes them to take their own life because nothing is left for them. Their hope is gone and only further suffering remains.
Before that point, we struggle; day in and day out to survive. Knowing that chronic pain has been scientifically proven to shorten the lifespan, shrink the size of one's brain, create secondary medical conditions (high blood pressure, heart issues, autonomic nervous system dysfunctions. etc) not to mention the damage of the meds we have to take just to be able to sit upright without screaming. We are not addicts. We are prisoners of our own bodies that are sick, or broken. Yet people need a scapegoat, someone to blame and it is (and always has been) easy for human beings to turn on the weakest, most vulnerable members of the group. After children, who are the most vulnerable members of a society? The sick, injured or disabled. Those who do not have the energy and mental strength to maintain the sustained and continuous battle that would be necessary to earn the respect we deserve just for being human beings.
Why is such a battle even needed? Don't we have enough fo a fight on our hands trying to make it through each day with a disabling illness or crippling pain?
How long can one survive this way? I do not know, but I do know this, when the time comes that my life ends, I will be thankful. No matter what awaits us after we die; be it new life, eternal life in heaven, or nothing at all (just wink out *pft* gone), the pain will be gone and peace will replace it (or just nothing, which still means no more pain, no nothing, gone..over).
Constant, never-ending pain, is a voraciously hungry, insatiable monster that eats its' victims a tiny bite at a time.
Many times I wonder, after so many years, how many bites are left in me?
I'm not sure....but I feel like I am down to just a few measly crumbs.