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My future is pain.

What does my future hold?

For many people this is a question of awe and wonder. It’s exciting and even inspiring to think about the future. What could the future hold. What will my mark on the world be. What amazing things can I do with my time. Then there are things like bucket lists, dream vacations, a certain thing someone wants to do before they die, we could go on. I am sure you get the picture.

While I don’t know everything about my future, and it would be disingenuous to say as much, I do know this. I know that my future holds pain. My future will always hold pain and suffering. I get to live the rest of my life (barring any sudden drastic leaps in science, technology, and medicine) in pain. In daily pain. Not only physical but mental and emotional pain.

My future is pain. Of course as I said before I don’t know what the future holds, no one can predict the future or often times even have the faintest idea of what will and will not happen. However I do know that whatever happens to me, wherever life takes me however long that is, and no matter what gets done or doesn’t. My future will have pain in some aspect or another. Daily pain.

I have daily physical pain, from the Fibro/ME catch all diagnosis for you have pain and we don’t know why. To my more specific things like the degeneration in my knees, chondromalacia patella, patella femoral joint degeneration, osteoarthritis. Two knee surgeries later and being told I need new knees, but that I will have to wait until I am older. To the bursitis in my right shoulder from cane use because of my fucked up knees. My carpel tunnel which I have already had one surgery for, making my main hobbies and interests already harder. Using my arms and hands and having to take constant breaks while painting, or doing models, or even gaming. My dowagers hump, which means my spine and neck are just always fucked, no matter how good I slept, if I use my neck pillow. I do daily at home Physical Therapy because that is all I can do to give my neck/shoulders/spine some relief and the change at not getting so tense and bound up that my whole day is rolling with a disadvantage.

To the pain that is my entire body, revolting at the fact we are still existing. Just every single joint in my entire body hurting, pulsing with pain or even just screaming at me while I am doing literally nothing. A bumped arm or toe that can send me into bed for 3 hours in excruciating pain. If not from the pain from the bump/wound, then the crying and bawling that happens because the pain in so intense for however long, then I have to lie down anyway because I have a migraine. The fact that water from a shower head hurts like hundreds of tiny stabs and punches all over me. I also have nerve pain and damage on the right side of my body from having Shingles outbreaks at least 6 or 7 times within a few years, and another more recently. Nerve pain is really fun like electric shocks and a very stingy deep pain that is miserable and doesn’t take well to anything I have tried.

Pain also gives me amazing nausea, so I am either nauseated because of body pains, or maybe because I haven’t eaten in so long because of being nauseated, or maybe I am nauseated because of eating. Then when I do eat I often get more pain because of eating. I have a sliding hiatal hernia, and refractory GERD. I also already have esophageal damage, not only from being a former bulimic but also because it took a full year of tests and procedures to find out what was making me get sick and vomit almost every single day for multiple years. IBS is also super fun and causes me all kinds of pain and discomfort, which also ties into my anxiety, since a LOT of people with anxiety disorders also have IBS.

My own disabilities make me more disabled in so many cases. How hecking effed is that?

I also have daily emotional and mental pain. The anxiety alone, making me tense adding to my physical pain. The anxiety is about anything, and everything. The bouts of agoraphobia that cause me more stress, mental pain and anguish even just thinking about leaving my house. I have nightmares at least half of the days of the week. This adds more stress, anxiety, maybe even triggers my PTSD. All of this adding more to my mental state, emotional pain and then all making my physical pain worse. It’s this constant swirling mass of things that keep feeding each other. Physical pain adding to my depression, the depression making me less likely to do things I enjoy which adds to not only making the depression worse but my pain as well.

PTSD is it’s own beast as well with the fact that flashback can also trigger body memories and pains associated with that. Or even just the stress of the nightmares, flashbacks, the intrusive thoughts which make me tense up. I deal with muscle spasms on the daily as well be it from pain, tension, stress, or just more body weirdness that doesn’t have a name and probably just gets lumped into my Fibro Dx. Which doctors have told me is a catch all for “you have any number of these symptoms and widespread pain and we have no idea why”.

Constant anxiety over how much I am being a burden to everyone I care about. Constant anxiety about the fact I have been told I talk too much about my disabilities. Can’t I just be happy? Can’t I just not talk about things that affect my daily life. The anxiety about finding new doctors and trying to access new pain treatments, or new options in general. Trying to seek out help for my bodily pain which adds to my anxiety more because I have to find new doctors, make appointments, do that first meeting. Bring all my medical history over and hope they even glance at it rather than just at me. Then these things just add to my depression more when appointments with doctors go terribly, either because they can’t help me or because of the more sinister shaming that they love to do so much. Or maybe another test is “normal” and we are back to square one.

Another doctor dismissing me with “go diet and exercise”. Another addition to my daily shame for existing as a disabled person, for existing while fat. Another addition to my emotional pain, the distress, the hopelessness, my depression, which in turn swirls and adds to everything else. Knowing that my future is pain, and will contain pain is hard. It is hard to keep wanting to go when I know this for a fact will a part of my daily life. Sure I don’t know what else my life will hold, but I do know it will be all through this lens of pain. A large spiky bubble that is my constant companion. Ouch, pain here, ouch pangs of sadness here, fuck I just got triggered, ouch more emotional pain, more crying, crap now I have a migraine. A cycle that is not always the same, but is constant none the less.

Every single day of the rest of my life will be in pain, and I don’t know how I feel about that. It makes living hard, it makes gaining inertia hard, makes having fun or even a “not shit day” hard. It makes everything harder and I am tired, and I want a break.

My future is pain.

The Necessity of Happiness.

There are just some things in life, especially in our frail human lives that are just necessary, like air food, water, shelter, clothing. Other things are also very critical to survival, real and perceived safety, relationships with other people, happiness, and human interaction.

Happiness is absolutely a necessity. I know this because as someone who deals with the lows of depression, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, chronic pain, and chronic illness (both mental and physical), I need happiness. I need to feel that spark of light. Sometimes it goes out again, but the warmth stays a while, it lingers. Sometimes that spark of light ignites a fire within you – a nice soft warm fire, or a big hot raging one. No matter which, that warmth and that happiness can pull you out of some dark places. Or at least it has for me.

As someone that struggles with suicidal ideation and urges to self harm, happiness is so important. Feeling cared about and loved even when I can’t love myself, or even bear to be myself, to exist; is necessary to not only my mental health and physical well-being but also to my continued survival. Especially when I can’t love myself, having someone else care is so fucking important.

I am happy. I feel genuinely happy, and it feels great. It feels old but familiar like riding a bike. This is just good. “Dying is easy; Living is harder.” Existing is hard, the bad pain days are hard. The loneliness is hard, the self hatred is hard. I have done a lot of hard work to get to where I am. I have fought every step of my journey. I am proud to be here where I am now – who I am now. Sure I have self hate, societal pressures, unreasonable expectations thrust upon me, but fuck I am happy.

Right now in this moment, I am happy and it feels awesome. When I have been stewing in darkness and pain for so long, this feels like surfacing for air, after swimming for so long to reach the top. You are tired, exhausted, wanting to give up, and you take that gasp of air and then fall back down. You push back up, again and again, trying to gain what strength you can from resurfacing. Then a hand, and a person, and a face, appear and help you up. You can rest a while. Fuck, I am tired.

So tired of fighting to exist every day. So tired of hating myself, of wishing I weren’t alive. Sometimes I am in so much physical pain that I rather wished I was dead. Death can’t hurt ‘cause you’re gone. Like to be in that dark of a place, even for a short while. Is very fucking hard, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I feel pretty fucked up afterwards. I am tired and I feel heavy, the thoughts of before of wishing I was dead than be in pain any longer, they are heavy. They linger and twist what is going on around me.

In this moment though. I am happy. Even when the darkness comes, as it will again, as it always does, I know that these moments happen. That there is happiness, there is love, there are reasons to keep going. That spark of light is one of those reasons. That touch of something better keeps me going. Keeps me fighting as it has for so long. As it hopefully will until I am taken by Death, whom I am really hoping is the Neil Gaiman ‘Sandman’ Version. They would be rad to chill with.

Thank you for these moments, thank you for caring. Thank you for being consistent, for being here, on the good days and the bad. Thank you for putting up with me, on my bad days and the good. Thank you for telling me you won’t give up on me or leave. More importantly thank you for showing that, you are still here. I am still here. Thank you for being yourself, every day and in every way.

I am happy. In this moment there is light. I am eternally grateful for these moments. I don’t think I will ever get to repay you or anyone for them, but I will sure try to pay it forward, even if not to them to someone. To as many people as possible. No one deserves to feel alone, unwanted, unloved. Humans need happiness, we need that light, otherwise things like depression and loneliness rob us of our lives. Quite literally as well as figuratively.

I have had so many days that were not a life worth living. Having to struggle to have meaning my life, having to acknowledge the parts of life that make things this hard, so I can work on them, so I can get past them. So I can heal. So I can live, and love and be me. The real me all the time. Not the persons broken and hurt, robbed of so much. I can give us all what we need. We just have to keep fighting. I know the bad days seem to always outnumber the good ones or even mediocre days. However they are still there and they are so perfect, powerful, and wonderful.

So fucking powerful. You give me power, power that has been taken from me so many times. I am allowed to be myself and be cared about and maybe even loved. Not in spite of myself, but because of myself. Who I am matters, who we are matters. I matter. As hard as it is for me to believe, I would never call you a liar, which means I matter. I have worth, I am cared about. This gift, this happiness is so powerful and wonderful and was so needed and I didn’t even know.

I didn’t realize until 2017 at 28 years old that happiness is kind of a fucking integral part of life and something that everyone needs. Talk about a revelation, I hope this very huge thing makes a difference and makes the fighting easier. I will keep fighting to live, to exist, to care – enthusiastically, loudly, and unashamed.

I only hope I can give you a sliver of what you have given me, I feel like the luckiest person on the earth. To go from feeling so small that you rather wished you would disappear, to feeling this overwhelming warmth and happiness that I just want to share with everyone. People don’t just deserve happiness, we need it to live, to thrive, and to make it. Some of us more than others.

Thank you. My life and who I am will be forever changed by what an amazing person you are.

The Necessity of Happiness.

Depression vs Art

I’d like to consider myself a bit of a visual artist but these past ten years with depression have almost completely sapped whatever ability I had. I think I’ve made about five drawings in ten years. When I do create something I’m told I’m talented. But I just cannot seem to keep the inspiration or even the motivation going.

You hear a lot about how mental illness contributed in some way to an artist’s work; that they channeled their pain into their art. Whether that art be music, painting, writing etc, the point is they channeled it to mean something. My depression just spirals and loops back into itself and all I ever get out of it is more pain.

Which then makes me feel even shittier for not “depression-ing” right. Which I know is ridiculous, I know it’s just depression shenanigans and troll brain talking. I know it all rationally, but I still cannot shake the feeling that I’m a failure at depression. Isn’t that sad?

Lately, I’ve had a few ideas for a drawing and I can see it in my mind’s eye, but when I try to actually make it happen I draw a blank. (At least I’m punny?)

That’s what hurts the most sometimes. I know I have some talent at least. I know that I can make something beautiful but depression is always there just waiting to tell me, that no actually I can’t.

I remember having a pastel charcoals set when I was little. I used up the sketch pad rather quickly. I loved just sitting on the porch and drawing whatever came to mind, blending colors and getting my fingers covered in multi-colored dust. Sometimes I think maybe I can do that again, sit somewhere quiet, armed with a sketch pad and pencil and just draw what comes to me. But the fear is there; taunting me. Waiting for the first pencil stroke to land on the page, so the depression can start its bullying: why bother?, nobody will like it. You aren’t any good.

Why can’t I just ignore that, especially when I know that what my depression is saying isn’t true? It’s a never ending battle.

Depression vs Art