**Disclaimer**I wrote this last week when I was at the apex of one of the worst pain flare-ups I’ve ever had. But I took my meds and got my pain down, and checked in with all my support people, and I’m doing much better now. So please don’t worry that I’m about to hurt myself, because I am OK. This is just what it feels like to be in that moment.**
Right this very minute there’s a bird singing outside my office window, and I wish to God that it would Just. Shut. Up.
I don’t hate birds; I suffer with a chronic illness. I have fibromyalgia which, among other things, is a chronic pain disorder that takes even the sweetest, gentlest sensory input and turns it into unbearable physical agony, as if your nervous system is constantly being struck by lightning
In addition to the crippling pain, debilitating fatigue, and the need to take so much medication that God only knows what your insides look like by now, this illness also steals away your ability to savor and enjoy your experience of your life.
So maybe it’s not my nervous system’s reaction to birdsong that hurts so much. Maybe it’s that I can’t remember the last time I wanted to sing.
I usually keep these feelings to myself, because I’m afraid to let other people know how dark a place I’m in when I’m in excruciating, never-ending pain.
I can admit it to myself. Being sick like this means that I spend a lot-maybe most-of my time alone with The Demon of The Truth.
I know, down to the marrow in my bones, what it’s like to get up every damn day and choose to show up for this raw, unvarnished, ugly life. I know what it is like to put one bare foot in front of another, navigating the razor’s edge of existence. I know, more than most people, what it really means to choose life. And it ain’t pretty.
My normal reaction is to protect those around me from knowing these things, but not today.
Today I am suffering. And that is what I need you to know.