Warping my own reality
Pain and I are friends. She’s not someone I really liked when I first met her; she was clingy and uncomfortably so. She was always in my face when I needed peace and would take up all of my energy with her endless nattering and calls for attention. There was nothing that satisfied her aside from having my entire focus set her way. I tried to make her leave me with thoughts and intentions and abject neglect but when that didn’t work I tried to chemically vanish her…erase her existence from my consciousness. That was okay for a while but very temporary and it just seemed to make her angrier. She would come back full force, bruised and insulted, and her scream would be louder than ever before. I sought advice from medical doctors, osteopathic practitioners, chiropractors, surgeons, physiotherapists and even psychiatrists but the all came up short, leaving me with a shrug of the shoulders and dismissal clearly set in their eyes. It came down to just her and me, over and over, time and time again. Finally, one day I decided to reason with her.
“Pain. You are exquisite in your way and I know you want to be heard; to be known. You and I are fighting for space in the same body and it is causing so much torment. Why don’t we compromise and find a way to exist here together?”
She thought about my words, paused her aching, vibrating hum, and I thought I felt a small smile touch the corners of her lips. She was willing to try.
I reached inside myself and felt around my soul until I knew, exactly, the space it took. I found that I could shift a little to my right and when I did I felt her slip out of my spine and into the space I had made for her. The space grows and shrinks as my lungs expand but she is careful not to put too much pressure there; keeping a wide open space for my lungs and heart and when I can, I pull myself up tall and tight to try to allow her the same courtesy.
We are both still learning how to tessellate into the same body but so far, it’s working. I breathe in and I can feel her; I breathe out and I can feel her but she never overwhelms me and tries to fill every inch of space inside me anymore.
I have tried to make friends with exhaustion in the same way but pain and exhaustion seem to feed each other and then grow out of control. Exhaustion isn’t inside me, but all around me, dragging on the ground as it clings to my ankles, making me stumble and fall.
“Could you not just walk beside me?” I asked it one day, but it didn’t have the energy to answer.