One of reasons that I started this blog involved trying to figure out how to deal with pain — leftover hardship, the pain of each day’s experience, and future suffering: I believe that the type of “complaining” which I’m trying to forsake stems from all of it. Like suppressed bubbles, the pain inevitably emerges elsewhere, in the form of sniping and snipping and snapping.
Since I’ve stopped taking narcotics, my physical pain has come back full force. A friend recently remarked that I seemed “to be suffering less”, even though, knowing me as he does, he could tell I held my body in ways designed to alleviate discomfort. I smiled. “Yes,” I confirmed. “I assure you, I’m in pain.” We talked of the rest of it, then: How I feel less anxious, how he sees me as kinder, as more accepting, less judgmental. I’m not bragging, folks; I’m blogging.
I’m glad that those who know me well see the genuine change. But I’m still left with the dilemma: Where to go with the pain? What do I do when my legs shift and shudder, just before I have to talk to some unsuspecting soul? Do I count to ten and walk away, pacing around my office, holding my tongue until I catch hold of the concept that my pain is not her fault? What do I do with my aching heart, my breaking heart, the unintended consequences of living with that organ on my sleeve?
For years, I’ve let my troubles sour my disposition; and for the last six months, I’ve tried to assume a gentle demeanor regardless of the events which erode my peacefulness. I see the impact of the changes in my behavior. I have let myself be more connected to this world by shunning the narcotics which dulled both the physical pain for which they were prescribed and the emotional suffering caused by life’s flotsam and jetsam. Yet, if I truly embrace that connection, surrender myself to it, there is the inevitable question: Where do I go with the pain?
I envy the truly clueless, those who wander through life without regard to its complexities. And while I am envying them, I study them, hoping to borrow some of their unwitting complacency.
The sun has briefly shrugged off the clouds it wears and smiled on my deck. A rabbit passed just a moment ago, looking at me sitting on my porch, hammering away at this keyboard. It paid me little more heed, casually and effortlessly hopping across my yard. I saw its tail twitch as it ducked under the rose bush next door and then it disappeared, its color blending with the underlying mulch as though it had never been there at all.