I do not know if i can maintain this way of coping with my pain, or for how long.
I got the Kiddo off to school, ate breakfast and tried to get to the business of the day. The ache though, it’s settled in like it’s hibernating for the winter and my body is the cave. My skin hurts and i feel the ache in the muscle all the way into my bones. So i went back to bed, to see if i could find a little sleep and maybe relief. I doze fitfully, and the ache follows me into my dreams until i hear a little doggy scratch at my door 2hrs later: Mom, we have to pee now. I get up and i have that overslept feeling; my head feels like it’s stuffed with cement chunks that are grinding against each other. Not fair, because i don’t feel any more rested than i did at 5:30 this morning.
I have had to return to hot showers. This is a difficult thing for me to do, as it’s highly triggering. The bathroom, on the whole, is the most triggery room in my house. I was attacked in bathrooms, i would get cleaned up in bathrooms, and in later years, i would try to scald the filth off of my body with water hot enough to do damage. Personal hygeine has been a problem for me on and off through the years, due to the abuse. If i didn’t go in, i didn’t get assaulted, and my unclean body was screaming out DON’T TOUCH ME!
I recognised the problem many years ago, and taking luke warm showers is part of what i do to cope with my anxiety. Unfortunately, that doesn’t do much for the pain, and so i do mindfulness type exercises while standing under water that’s as hot as i dare.
I remind myself who i am, how old i am, and that i’m not being abused anymore.
I feel my feet touching the tub.
I leave the curtain open a bit so i can see it’s my bathroom.
The door is open and the dogs are less than 5m away.
Chronic pain doesn’t leave much energy left over. My brain is in a fog, logy and sluggish. I finally remember to take a pain reliever. I stagger 2 different kinds. I don’t take too many anymore, and i don’t know if what i do take helps very much. I think it does? My head aches measurably less, but when i’m in full flare-up, it never goes away.
The pain in my face is returning. It’s one of the things that troubles me the most.
People don’t realise how much they touch their face. I do, though. I know because i hate my face being touched almost more than anything. It can trigger immediate and violent dissociation if someone touches my face. Even my own touch can be disturbing to me. I’ve worked very hard to remain present during morning and evening skin care, and the occasional makeup applications. When my face aches though, i can find myself unconsciously touching a painful area. If i catch myself stroking or rubbing my face, it can be hard to stay present and aware. I can suddenly feel disgusting and disgusted at the same time. When i feel like that i want to distance myself from my body – i don’t like the feel of it, so i check out.
So this is the absolute shit of it. I’m in pain, which dissociation could relieve, but i don’t want to do that, so i’ve got to just feel it. This is a mirror of what’s happening with my mental/emotional health and i try to find it funny, but i struggle with self-pity.
I’m not trying to be a martyr here. I’m not saying this is the way to deal with chronic pain, either. In fact, i’d strongly recommend against this. The only reason i’m doing it this way is because i have to right now. I’m not using alcohol or pills or street drugs to get away from my brain, my body, or my past any longer. I’d love to get away from the pain for a while, but abuse of alcohol only works while the intoxication is maintained. The inevitable sobriety brings greater pain for days after. Street drugs don’t generally work, and pills… Some opiates cause pancreatitis for me, and i’d rather feel the fibro pain, thank you very much.
I’m also no superhero. I don’t know how long i can continue to handle it all this way.
I’m going to try not to think about it too much. This little bitty piece of writing has taken me nearly 2 weeks to write. I bash out a few sentences and then go distract myself with something else. I don’t want to dwell because that leads to obsession which always leads to rash decisions and poor choices. I get overwhelmed and i want to stop feeling the way i do, so i grab a quick fix, which always costs more than it’s worth.
You know, the more i open up about how my brain works, and what i’m doing to manage it and have a happier and more functional life, the more i wonder if it’s even possible that anyone out there can relate. But that’s probably just the pain talking, at least i hope so. I’m going to take it as a sign that i’m tired and it’s time for me to stop this piece and go to bed.
I don’t know if it’s done yet.
I’ll ask tomorrow.
I think it is. I needed to share what i’m going through, but now i have and i’m going to move on. I’ve made the best decision i can with the resources i have available: acknowledge it to myself, share it with someone, have a moment of how shitty and unfair it is – and move on.
It’s all balance, isn’t it? I’m trying to look at just enough of the minutiae that i can tweak what isn’t quite working and have a better life – but not get obsessed, overwhelmed, and completely out of touch with the rest of the world. I’m also trying to see just enough of the big picture, so that i can maintain my focus, and see my progress as more of an evolutionary process, in other words, it’s gonna take time.
Love and Peace to You,