Monthly Archives: July 2012

Losing Control

Losing control… I would say that would be a fair understatement of where I’ve been for quite some time now.

I’ve been convinced by the demon in my head that I cannot exist with or without it… The twenty-odd years of 24/7 brainwashing has worked and I think I cannot shake this conviction from my heart. With its departure from most of me, my life seems empty… I am, I think, in effect grieving for the loss of it. I don’t know how else to explain that nauseating feeling of loss, and feeling very rather lost since I’ve taken its reins and banished it from controlling my life.

Its ghost is there, in the background, telling me I’m nothing without it, and I do feel that. Its been there since I was a young child of eleven. Possibly longer without my knowing it. How do I possible define myself now a prominent part of me is suddenly missing? I have to suddenly go out and actually find out what’s left and build it back up to be a whole person again… A tough task when you’ve made a dent into your thirties. After decades of fighting for survival against the demon, against trauma, against the world, the most taxing thing in my life is ensuring BT and the landlord get paid on time, and maybe what game I’d like to play. And nothing really intimidates me anymore – I’ve seen worse – the worst – and survived to care about nothing more important than whether I prefer Mr Muscle or Cillit Bang (… read it properly…!) … Its a different world. And frankly I do not understand it.

I find myself overwhelmed with this task of managing a “normal-ish” life, whilst also failing to understand how people find it taxing. There’s nothing big to worry about… Its probably why they invent “problems” like “am I skinny enough???”, “can I ‘have it all’ and still be skinny”, “I can’t afford to go to Florida AND Australia this year…”, or “oh dear, I can’t choose the best nursery for my little darlings”… After going to Hell and back, I do not understand how people can be so intense about making these frivolities “problems”. Me, I get confused why it matters and why I’m supposed to take precedence with things that – the grand scheme of things – matter not one whit, and is nothing you’ll be thinking about when its time to follow the light from your deathbed.

In the middle of all this, I also know that am not “normal”… I am internally battle-scarred and rather hardened, carrying cynicism and little sympathy for others who fall at even a minor hiccup. I do not, and I am not going to, play by these daft and pointless rules of society’s “pretty” existence – I’m not interested, as its barely a facade that keeps itself together. People go out of their way to live up to imagined expectations (I mean who made this “perfection” crap the “law”…). I cannot do that, and I will not – cannot – play their silly games. I’ve been through too much to feel such things can possibly be so important that they make you miserable. Find out what real misery is – then maybe you’ll have something to say that’s worth your whining… It may sound cold to anyone who hasn’t faced trauma or real hard times, or someone who hasn’t looked death in the face and then turned their back on it. But that is how it feels when people who don’t have it so bad go on about things that don’t really make that much difference in the long-run of life.

In the end all this makes me feel like I’ve totally lost control of myself and my life… And to be honest, like I never had it in the first place. It – the demon – has controlled me almost my whole life, and I have done some awful things to grasp some of that control back, but I never succeeded. I still feel lost; scattered to the breeze like I have been crushed into so many pieces I have no hope of being put back together again. Without my “arch enemy” to fight, I feel my life has lost purpose – that is has no other purpose… And, really, it doesn’t. Everything in my life as been governed towards fighting it. I thought being its mistress would lead me to peace – instead it leaves me feeling empty and without focus.

I honestly don’t know what to do without it. In gaining control of the monster, I seem to have lost control of my life.

It was very far from what I expected.
I suppose you should be careful what you wish for… It might just happen…

 
Now that it seems to have happened, its not the outcome I wanted at all. And I feel lost…

 

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The Painful Truth…

 

Living with chronic pain is, to say the least, a right pain. It restricts what you can do, and in most cases you end up being reliant (at the very least) on strong painkillers to get through the most basic of tasks and the quietest of days – doing any more than that can require a huge amount of willpower and gritting of teeth, followed by pure exhaustion.

 

Personally, I am really tired of being in constant pain and having to treat my body like it’s made of bone China. There is barely anything that doesn’t hurt every second of every day, and even a slight pressure can cause a lot of pain which can border on agony if it’s already flared and sensitive. I’m tired of being always tired – from the effort of just living, I’m perpetually exhausted. My mind has to be continuously active in blocking out as much of the pain as is possible, and this drains me. I used to rely on painkillers until I became addicted to codeine – now I have mastered that, I try to stay away from them as much as possible and try to manage my pain by shutting it out of my mind, or just gritting my teeth and trying not to cry. Only when it becomes too much to bear do I end up turning back to the pills, and I control my consumption of them with an even firmer iron fist than I do the pain itself.

 

I must admit that I believe a life without it would not be my own – it would be unrecognisable as a life of mine, having dealt with this for most of my existence. I’ve had it for so long I would not recognise my life without it, and would take a lot of adjusting – not that I wouldn’t take that option in an instant if it were offered. I have incorporated it into my life and tried to work around it as much as possible, but this has been unfortunately to the detriment of other things – like fun activities. I loved yoga, horse-riding, walking – these are no longer a part of my life, except for a small amount of walking (and by “walking”, I mean long walks or treks in nice places, not walking to the shop…). My job is now working within IT and sitting at a desk – standing and walking for hours hasn’t been an option for several years, and I could never successfully do such jobs again.

 

In my darker moments I resent the hell out of this semi-prison I am in. I feel so restricted in so many areas of life, and I hate having to think twice before doing anything, and I have heartbroken hatred towards my body for keeping me confined in pain. When a light hit, or even a touch can leave me squealing and in tears, it drives home how much I hate what it puts me through. My bones, my back, my stomach, my legs, my shoulders, my head, my neck… There’s hardly an area that does not cause me endless pain day after day. Nothing but strong-ish painkillers can give me any relief – and even then it’s not enough to be pain-free… It just dulls it enough so I don’t want to cry from it. The real gem is that I can’t even take anti-inflammatory pills because thanks to a blood-clotting condition NSAIDs are out of the question.

 

In my more dramatic moments I feel cursed, angry and frustrated. The stress of having to cope with the unrelenting pain, as well as trying to focus on doing at least some daily tasks, and my job, plays havoc with my already disastrous and unstable mental health – which then also inflicts more exhaustion on my already-struggling body. This then causes more pain, as my body is made even more hyper-sensitive with tense muscles, tension headaches (or worse – full-blown migraines), and adrenaline hormones surging permanently through my bloodstream. To say that sometimes I really struggle to cope is an understatement.

 

Just a day, or a week, off would be lovely. To have a small amount of time that was pain (and painkiller) free would be a real treat. A restful night, followed by being able to get out of bed without at least wincing, and to be able to move around and do basic things without being reduced to frustrated tears or just plain not being able to move would be pretty awesome. It would be great to be able to sit at my desk without feeling horribly uncomfortable (instead of trying hard to concentrate on work whilst trying to ignore the pain shooting through abdomen, back, legs, and head), or play my beloved videogames without having to have giant cushions placed on the floor just so, to support my hips, back and legs (sitting any other way results in pure agony after just a few minutes).

 

Unfortunately, until real-life starts inventing real Fairy Godmothers with real Magic Wands, I am stuck with grimace-and-bare-it – and what will probably be a lifelong requirement for codeine consumption. Yesterday it was so bad, I bought Syndol – which has a tranquiliser that works as a muscle-relaxant. I had to drink coffee like it was going out of fashion to stay awake, but I was pretty pain-free (and rather out of it) for most of the day… Thank goodness nobody takes much notice at me, hiding behind my screens, at work!

 

Right now, at this moment, the pain is bad – the codeine has run out and my head is overwhelmed by the pain data flooding in from just about every part of my being, especially my back, hips and legs. It does make me want to cry (sorry to be all morose and all that…) – and I do try to cope by turning up the volume on my headphones (thank the lord in the rather insular world of IT world it’s a fairly normal practice to stuff music in your ears and concentrate on your work) and drowning out the “noise” that the horrible pain makes.

 

Eventually, I’ll give into it and pop another two pills – careful not to slip into dosing way above the recommended limit, like I used to. After the splurge of “celebrity” deaths following overdoing the painkiller addiction until you officially overdose, I have become very relieved that I have survived doing exactly the same thing myself, with no long-term damage done. It’s too easy to do – I know that as well as the next person doing it – so I am hyper-vigilant about it now.

 

Like everyone else in similar situations, it’s really just all about the bottom-line… You just want the pain to go away…

 

 


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