I hate you. And you. And you, and you, and you, and everyone else with better coping skills than me. I know my challenges aren’t unique. But I hate people spouting sunshine in spite of their problems, being so damn happy and grateful and saying it’s a “gift” with what appears to be true sincerity. I do not believe you. Where is your rage? Where is your resentment? Where are your tantrums, your moments of despair? I cannot be the only person who has those. But I hardly ever talk about it anywhere but here; I’m reluctant to rain on the perpetual gratitude parade that permeates every support group I have the dubious honor of attending.
I hate everyone who has gotten injured and recovered. I hate it when someone gets well enough to leave. And everyone talks about how wonderful that person was and how he was always positive and hopeful and how inspiring it was. I’m not inspired. I’m disgusted. I’m disgusted with this and I’m disgusted with them and I’m disgusted that, for no apparent reason, I woke up yesterday morning with excruciating pain radiating out from the right side of my neck such that I could barely turn my head, in either direction, and no-one could do a thing about it, not the massage therapist, not the physical therapist, and certainly not everyone’s prayers that are supposedly being offered up on my behalf.
I doubled up on my pain meds last night. It’s the first time I’ve ever done that. Occasionally, I will go so far as to take one and a half, but two was on the other side of a Rubicon I dared not cross. Until last night, when I was in so much pain that I could not find anything to distract myself from it and feared I wouldn’t be able to sleep.
I’d explained the situation to the massage therapist when I went to see her that afternoon, and she dug into my neck and shoulders for thirty minutes of excruciating manipulation, the ostensible purpose of which was to relieve the tension in my neck that was causing the pain. The pain subsided for about an hour or so afterwards and then returned with a vengeance, ice packs and ibuprofen be damned. I finally admitted defeat at 6:30 PM and was medicated and in bed less than an hour later, only able to calm myself by telling myself that I would wake up the next morning and feel a lot better.
But I woke up at 10:30 PM, 1:00 AM, 2:30 AM, and 5:15 AM. By then, the pain had been reduced from a sharp stabbing to a dull ache (although it is now steadily working its way back up the scale). I was still exhausted, but couldn’t sleep any longer, so I got up. One of my neighbors in the building is a high school teacher. She walks her dog at about 5:30 AM. I saw her when I let out my cat. I wonder if she wonders what I’m doing, up at that ridiculous hour. All of us in the building are friendly with one another, so I’m pretty sure she’s aware that I’m not working.
But then again, it’s more likely she didn’t even notice; she has a life. In addition to teaching, she works as an event photographer on weekends. She has some sort of autoimmune disorder that takes her out of commission every so often, and yet she somehow manages to work two jobs. I’m not sure I will ever be able to work two jobs. Right now, one job and a hobby remains questionable, especially if I’m going to get knocked off my chair with pain like this every ten days or so.
What is the point of this latest insult? I was in so much pain last night I started screaming and pounding on my dresser for God to get out of my life, that I’m done being pushed around and I don’t need to learn anything else and please, please, leave me the f*** alone already. I’m not grateful, I’m incensed. I’m so angry I want to set fire to something and watch the fire rage and imagine it’s my own wrath in physical form, destroying everything in its path. The fury feels physical to me, like I have a destructive force trapped inside my body that wants nothing more than to leap out and strangle the next person unlucky enough to walk in front of me.
I started a blog post a couple of days ago about feeling guilty that I’d taken all this time off to recover, considering how much better I felt after just a couple of weeks. Well, I don’t feel guilty about it any more, that’s for sure. I feel betrayed, like the oasis I enjoyed in the few days before the neck pain struck was abruptly snatched away as soon as I started to think I could be comfortable there.
I could be happy there. I don’t know how to be happy here. I feel like I’m getting yanked around for no other purpose than the amusement of some invisible, malevolent spirit. I’m scared that no-one can help me; that there is no God watching over me; that there is no higher purpose to all of this; and that it’s not a trial by fire but just a run of bad luck (not that I have much experience with any other kind).
And this isn’t the first time I’ve felt that way, and I’m tired of feeling this way. I’m tired of taking pain medications that don’t seem to be doing anything. I’m tired of doing everything I’m told, changing my pillows, changing my car, bringing special cushions wherever I go to help maintain the correct seating posture, doing my stretches and exercises, being mindful about how I’m using my body, and not having it matter. If this is going to keep happening, what’s the point?
There is no point. That’s what I think. There is no point to any of this. I don’t know what’s helping me and what’s hurting me. I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do and I don’t know what else I’m supposed to learn. If this is supposed to test my faith then I officially fail the test, because what’s happened is that my faith is gone and I dare God or anyone else to give me one good f***ing reason to bother with a search party.
And so I’m filled with hate, like it’s dirt, like it’s black mud welling up from deep inside my soul and expanding into the tips of my fingers and toes. If I’m going to be stiff and sore and mangled, why bother fighting it? I’m not strong. I’m weak. I’m exhausted. I can’t keep doing this. I need a reason to fight – something to fight for, a goal, anything – and I can’t find one. Just a few days ago, I had the audacity to consider that I might be well enough at some point in the distant future to go back to some semblance of normalcy, a regular job, maybe even some community theatre. And so of course, as soon as that seedling of hope started poking up through the dirt, my pain came along, tore it from the ground, and flung it away. Now I’m just left with what I had before. Just dirt. Nothing growing; nothing to grow in it. Nothing at all.