Nocturnal Journal Part 5
Pain, Rage, and Fear
August 2, 2018
There are some who believe we must keep silent about our struggles. In a way, they’re right.
One cannot lament about everything wrong in their life and it is one-hundred percent necessary to find the good in all things.
It is however, also necessary to tell of our struggles thus letting others know from where we came and how we got where we are. People need to know they’re not alone. They need to know that everyone struggles. They need to be able to realize that if they work hard to find the good that it is there.
Those are my thoughts as I tell you the following tale.
I don’t tell you this to gain your pity. I don’t tell you this to gain your help. I tell you this terrifically terrible tale to let those of you who struggle with similar things as are described here that you’re not alone. I tell you this in such a way so that you not only know that you’re not alone but so that you may also see that in the end if you try you can make it through.
I made it. Had I not I’d not be writing this now because for just a moment this night I nearly gave in to a frightening urge to believe I could not make it and simply could go no further.
I invite you to step back into my memory of this night. I invite you to experience it just as I did.
Are you ready? I hope so. I warn you, if you’re not able to take the storms of pain, rage, and fear you might want to sit this one out.
You can handle it you say? OK. Don’t say you weren’t warned…
Here I am. Awake. Awake in the night yet again. Awake with such pain I don’t have words to describe.
Awake with rage boiling out of me. Awake with pain and rage.
Pain from a back injury I sustained back in the winter from ice having formed on my porch steps due to a drip over-head. A drip which has not yet been fixed and winter soon will be here yet again.
Awake with pain, rage, and fear. Yes, fear. Fear because I’ve not yet gotten a diagnosis for the back injury and the pain is worsening each day. Rage, because the reason I’ve never gotten a diagnosis for this injury is because there are so many things that must happen to do this and I’ve no help getting them done.
Oh, yes, there are those calls from friends which say, “Call if you need anything.”
What I’ve found is that means, “If I can toss some money your way or buy something for you I’ll help but don’t ask me to give of my time. No, don’t ask that of me because I’m busy. I’m busy living my perfect life, and to donate to your cause is one thing but I can’t possibly take a day and help you. No, because that will remind me that the world is a hellish place for some and I might have to get my hands dirty. I can’t stand sickness, suffering or strife. I can’t be reminded of pain and all that goes with that. Oh no. Don’t ask that of me. Don’t do that please? Because my life is good, clean and free of all that and I don’t want it stained.”
So, here I sit yet again alone in the middle of the night trying to tamp down the pain rage and fear because if I don’t it will engulf and destroy me. It’s already tried. When I woke at 3 the pain was so bad I had to crawl from my bed to the loveseat and lie there until it eased enough for me to get into the bathroom find my Gabapentin and take the morning dose. It didn’t matter that it was hours early and that I couldn’t take more until long into the day. I had to have some relief. It doesn’t get rid of it, but it makes it manageable and that must be good enough. Campbell must be walked, fed, played with and loved.
Finally, I make it into the bathroom manage to negotiate the medication and water needed for some relief and as I swallow the pills and feel the cool of the water sliding down my throat soothing me I think I might be alright.
I stumble into the kitchen to get a cup of left over coffee. Making a fresh pot is simply out of the question at this moment. As the evil darkness of pain, rage, and fear seems to lessen and I slide the coffee into the microwave I think I might be OK. After a moment the microwave signals the coffee is hot.
Stumbling slowly into the living room to sit down to try and gather myself I sit the cup of coffee on the table by my chair as I pass. I sigh with relief. I just might make it yet again. Oh, please? I’ve so many things needing done, and I must make it.
Campbell must be walked, fed, and loved. Clients must be promoted, the house must be cleaned, and laundry must be done.
Thoughts of relief are short-lived. There’s to be no relief. At least none that I can see here in this noisome night of darkness of pain, rage, and fear. No, no relief here.
As I pass the table to go to my chair a bolt of white hot pain shoots through my back, down into both legs and for a moment I think I might just collapse there in a heap onto the floor. I think maybe I might fall down onto the floor then keep right on going through into the earth down and down until I am no more.
The pain is worse now than ever and as I try to keep my balance I hit the table with my hip slinging coffee all over everywhere and as this act is complete the rage overwhelms all else and I scream.
I scream. I scream as the rage rises to the surface in a boiling roiling river. I scream and scream until my voice is nearly gone and as I make it finally to my chair and sit trying to regain my composure, so I don’t frighten Campbell I remember the coffee slung all over and realize I must get back up.
I try to stand and for one horrifying moment I don’t think I can do it. For one horrible moment I fear I might just sit there in my chair forever. Sit there until the river of pain rage and fear erodes me leaving nothing but a hulled-out shell in its place.
Finally, I manage a deep breath. Then another and another. I slow my pounding heart and begin to cool my fevered mind. I tell myself I must get myself under control. I remind myself that Campbell and I are alone here in this night and that if I lose all control my precious baby dog will be alone and afraid with no one to love and care for him.
Breathing slowly in and out, in and out I begin to think. I think of what must be done one thing at a time. Rising slowly from the chair, I make my way back into the kitchen get a towel stumble back into the living room and begin to clean up the mess.
After a bit it’s all cleaned up my pain, rage, and fear are safely tucked away again, and I think I might just make it.
Taking one slow painful step at a time I return the towel to the kitchen make my way once more to the living room my chair and coffee. Coffee I discover has grown cold while all I’ve told you has gone on and suddenly the pain, rage and fear boils over yet again.
There is no scream this time. I haven’t any strength left for that.
There’s no scream, no tears. There is just pain, rage, and fear boiling and roiling with no place to go.
I sit down into my chair, pull the quilt I’ve dragged from the loveseat over my shivering body, wrapping my arms around myself rocking back and forth, back and forth trying desperately to gain control yet again. The tears finally come. My body shakes with silent sobs. I’ve no energy for sound, and as the cold sweat that has been pouring from me begins to dry Campbell comes bumbling in and lays his sweet head in my lap licking my hands saying…
“It’s OK mom. It’s OK. You’re not alone. I’m here. I love you, and together we will make it through.”
The love he gives is unlike nothing given from any other. There’s no dollar sign attached, no well-meant yet non-existent “call if you need anything” there is only sweet soothing love and I know I’ll make it through this night of pain, rage, and fear.
Later when we walk together in the yard Campbell having his first sniff fest of the day, me allowing the remaining trickles of pain rage and fear to seep into the ground letting Mother Earth and the drizzling rain take it away I realize that I’ve done it. I’ve stimmed the flow from that roiling fuming river of pain, rage and fear. I feel the strength coming back into me from Mother Earth and taking a deep breath I smile. I fought this monstrous beast of sickness once again, and for this moment at least I’ve won. I will go on with this day and though my struggles are many my heart is light.
We’ve only the here and now. What is done is done and the next thing’s begun. I must not look back to where that river of pain, rage, and fear flowed. No, I must look forward, to the wonderful pond of love, and living that awaits me.