December 15, 2015
“Just leave me alone!” I yell as I plonk myself down on the couch.
A wave of guilt hits me immediately. That wasn’t very nice. It was downright rude. I gather what little energy I have and attempt to explain.
“I’m tired and I’m frustrated. I’m not angry at you. I’m just angry and you happen to be around me.” As I finish the sentence, my voice cracks. My eyes well up and I reach a new level of exhaustion.
I am tired of processing and understanding how I am feeling and then having to explain those emotions to others. Sometimes, I just need to feel all those feelings without fear of repercussion or without getting caught up in what it means.
Because we know the whys and the whats. We know that I am in chronic pain almost all of the time. We have the diagnosis of fibromyalgia and we know that we are trying to manage my hormone levels which keep fluctuating. In fact, I cannot remember not being in pain. I do temporarily forget the pain when I’m caught up in moments of happiness. Those are moments of heightened joy because that is what happens with the added emotion of relief. The pain is something that I have been learning to manage and will have to continue learning how to do so because this is a chronic, long-term issue.
A couple of weeks ago, I took a stronger, prescribed painkiller that is only supposed to be used in emergencies. It was an emergency. I fell asleep but woke up screaming from a terrible nightmare. And then I remembered, it was my birthday. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best of days but I pride myself on making the best of bad situations. I am after all getting quite experienced in navigating the highs and lows.
Sometimes I describe my emotions in colour and I had been feeling decidedly blue recently. So I splurged on a birthday manicure and am now sporting blue nails. A little out there for me, but somewhat cathartic. I got myself another birthday present. An adult colouring book by Johanna Basford called “Lost Ocean”. The title sums it up. Colouring has been relaxing and somewhat therapeutic. By focusing on the colouring, I distract myself from the pain and my thoughts. Almost like meditating…which I have also been doing more of.
I often feel like my body is floating in the ocean, completely vulnerable. I am conscious of how my body is feeling in every moment. My emotions can go from calm to stormy in an instant and all because of this underlying pain, just below the surface that no one but me is privy to.
As with birthdays, I got more messages and calls than usual. But I couldn’t bring myself to speak to anyone. I needed some space to myself. Again, the guilt rises now and then and it is up to me to figure out what is best for me in those moments. I do not feel like someone in their twenties. I honestly feel like I am in my forties. 42 to be precise although I don’t know where that number came from. My body is certain of it and scoffs at those young, able-bodies that are actually in their twenties. I often remind my bones not to be jaded and cynical and jealous. I do, as always, appreciate the kind words and support. They keep me going and keep me grateful for a community of allies. This past birthday I got many wishes of good health for the coming year. I sincerely hope we can get there.
PS – For those Harry Potter fans, you may recognize the inspiration for the title of this post.