Hurts like hell
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I wrote a quick update on a cancer blog, but I’ll give you the real story. When I wrote that first blog post I tried to insert a funny anecdote here and there and weave a cute metaphor through for the reader’s benefit. But all of this is more for my benefit than the reader’s so I am going to take a hard pass today.
Sometimes I cry so hard I literally can’t breathe through my nose any more because it’s clogged with the sixty percent of tears that didn’t come out of my eyes. I didn’t think I was going to go there today. I mean I had been through it before. We all had. And this time we knew what we were doing. I could get to the hospital without pulling up Google maps. I could direct my sister to the correct parking garage specific for the surgery center. We settled into a familiar corner in the waiting room with the long backed chairs. Waited steeling ourselves for the consult room. Remembered the ninth floor was the neuro ICU and the seventh the step-down. Couldn’t be so bad the second round?
I’m not really sure any more. I’m not sure if it hurts less or more to revisit an old wound. Or when you realize it hasn’t really healed. Maybe it can’t. Maybe it’s just open for the rest of your life… And you live trying not to flinch as life’s specks of dirt fly into it. Lovely…
Today hurt. I am not sure how else to describe it. I really felt something snap. I almost couldn’t stay in the confines of the car on the way home. Couldn’t handle a lighthearted jab. I couldn’t not cry. Even if I was the only one. I felt myself freeze. Because if I didn’t freeze I knew I would explode. Cuss words on repeat in my brain. Fuck. Fuck this. Shut the fuck up. But I can’t say them… Instead I let my hair fall over the side of my face and planted my forehead against the inside of my hand. For some reason when I cry my eyebrows always feel really wet. Are they sweating? Or are my tears somehow falling up my face? It’s really weird… I’ve always wondered if it happens to anyone besides me.
I am amazed by how emotions are completely substanceless but at the same time so damn substantial. How can I feel this? My body can’t hold it all. It can’t take it. Something has to break for it all to fit.
And I feel guilty writing this… I am no expert on pain. It’s not like I’ve grown up starved of love and attention, damaged by neglect, or born any degree of physical brutality. I haven’t. But maybe you have. And I can’t feel your pain to be able to say oh mine is worse. But I also can’t feel yours and say oh mine doesn’t matter.
What I can say with 100% certainty is that your pain hurts and mine does too. Yes it does. It comes in so many types and varieties. So many causes. So many reactions. So many consequences. All sorts of colors. All sorts of comorbid feelings – anger, sadness, aloneness.
For some reason mine felt both red and blue. The red for my borderline fury with every family member who showed up but hadn’t lived and breathed my past six months. The blue for the wind coming through the half-cracked window that kept me breathing.
I am left with insides just a little broken having been smushed by a few too many tears…
I went to the chiropractor for the first time a few weeks ago. But I’m not sure what it’s going to take realign this. Because it’s so hard to live with. It just hurts. And I am not very brave or very strong. I am losing sight of my hope. I’m losing faith in the existence of compassion. I am so selfish. It annoys me to no end when my brother’s family comes and the breakfast milk just sits on the kitchen table. I am the epitome of begrudging as I return it to the fridge. I want to cover my ears as words of encouragement slip out of the mouth of a relative who sits across from me. I want to loose it all and scream about how I am the one who has to live this every day, so you don’t deserve to speak to me about this.
I know this is ugly. But it has to see the air even if it’s only midnight basement dim computer screen air. I know it’s toxic.
There are two sides you know. But if I tell you the other side right now it will come out like sweet puke. So another time…
I meant to talk more about the nature of pain. About how we are both so alone and so together in it. Question why it exists and if any good ever comes of it. Dig through what it is and what it isn’t. End with some sort of resolution or crack of light.
Instead I feel like I’ve just vomited up the past couple hours. See me? See my pain? Bet you think it doesn’t even compare to yours. It probably doesn’t… But I’ll leave it here anyways. I’ll beg for you to acknowledge it anyways. I’ll go to bed and try not to cry anymore.