when hope feels toxic

“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.”

-The Princess Bride

In the midst of everything, hope for healing and reprieve feels toxic.  It’s that place where you cannot unring the bell, un-say the things, or dial back the crazy. Just ride it out. But, even the idea of the light at the end of the tunnel begins to feel like a fallacy. Because hope is associated with a happy ending, or some kind of future where things are okay, or that the really unmanageable things happening now will stop happening. And the truth is, this is it. It’s hard to accept the now and this is it when you are holding out a hope for a different reality.

I’ve been living in pain for as long as I can remember. On a scale of one to ten, I’ve been at a six or an eight, pretty much nonstop for over two decades. Emotional, physical, both. I have had occasions where death does seem superior to pain that will not abate. That is a real thing, and, honestly, it seems like a very sane reaction. I also refuse to take narcotics and anti-depressants because the side effects and the complications of both of those options just seem like a different, unmanageable reality.

Doctors seem frustrated because I am such an uncooperative patient, and that is literally all they have to offer.

Somehow, surviving all this pain becomes a crystal clear compass for my life. I don’t spend all my time sobbing in showers and writing blogs. I’d never get anything done if that was the case. But, I have to choose carefully what I give attention to. What earns my energy.

And despite the fact that some days I don’t want to get up and do the things, I get up and do the things. I have a child at home who needs more than other kids do, and always has. I have two chronic illnesses that require me to learn to rest, manage stress, and on some days stop everything and lay on the couch. All. Day. Long. Which is pretty painful since I hate that I have to do it while things I need to do languish in a perpetual state of un-done-ness.

I have these beautiful children, and I am blessed to have them. No matter how hard it is some days. I have this body that is literally at war with itself. But, I could just as easily have no life at all.

It feels like this other thing, the hope for an end-date to suffering is just not accepting reality. And I have to. Because that is the only way through whatever this thing is that I have to do.


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