Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Popping Mad

Oh, man. Today is really bad. There's just something about this pain that is so debilitating, so crushing to the soul. I tell people it's like someone injected acid into my face and jaw, and lemme tell ya, it's hard to imagine at the moment what could be worse in this life.

Perhaps there are equivalents, like losing a child or being unjustly imprisoned for years, but as far as I know, this particular type of jaw/face pain (also known as atypical trigeminal neuralgia) is the only condition on Wikipedia called "the suicide disease," as sufferers find it so unbearable, and ultimately become despondent and suicidal because it's so untreatable.

In fact, that Wikipedia entry is truly the best description I've read so far of what I suffer through, and believe me, I've read plenty.

I know there are unconventional things I've yet to try to find relief, but frankly, I'm exhausted. Plus, life goes on; I need to earn money to stay afloat (disability doesn't cover my expenses), bills need to be paid, obligations must be met. And there are those days or weeks when the pain just isn't so bad, and I enjoy simply living my life. The last thing I want to do during these periods is make an appointment at that swanky pain clinic. I want to paint, or hang with friends, or buy shoes, or visit my nieces!

When things are bad, though, after so many years of this ordeal the idea of making even more appointments and telling the whole story all over again--with full knowledge that absolutely all of my previous efforts have been in vain--is just torturous. It's certainly easier to just pop pills and forget about it all for awhile--to drift off into a temporary Utopia where the darkness isn't quite so black.

I don't have any pills right now, though. Damn! I want to just check out; go watch "House" reruns and pop pills whenever House does. I want that smooth feeling to come over me that everything is going to be okay, or better, that everything is okay. I want the pain to lift just a bit (it never goes away completely), so that I can sigh and maybe take a nap.

Instead, I sit here wrapped as tight as a drum, wondering how any creator could have screwed things up so completely to have this condition even exist.

Sometimes people say to me, "Everything happens for a reason."

"Oh, really?" I respond (just in my mind, of course). "Let's hear you say that while I slice your skull with this machete."

I don't even know what I mean by that other than I'm obviously pissed and upset and sick to death of that irritating concept called "spirituality."

I suppose if I had a boyfriend or husband, my workload in finding a cure would be divided. But every responsibility of my life is on my shoulders and my shoulders alone. Normally, I actually enjoy this and rarely even think about it. But when I really need help of the more dire sort, I'm acutely aware that I'm in this by myself, and it's up to me to do it all--to seek out the treatments, make the appointments, find transportation, then follow whatever program is laid before me.

For years now, it's all been paid for with credit. Yes, money is another issue.

My friends in recovery encourage me to call someone when I'm suffering, but sometimes calling friends or family is worse because no one knows how to advise. No one has dealt with anything even close to this, and I actually feel bad for them that I can sometimes be so inconsolable. It gets frustrating for us both when every suggestion they make is something I've tried, and while this often makes me sound negative, I'm basically just reporting the facts.

Ultimately, I end up doing a faked cheerfulness before I get off the phone, just so that they don't feel so bad.

It's just way easier sometimes to sit back and start popping. Sometimes friends say, "But you could die from those pills!" Trust me--I'm not clinically depressed when I say, "Yeah? And?" The only reason I don't check out is that there's so much of the good life I've yet to live. I know it exists--I've seen it in movies.

I dunno. I gotta find some pills. This is just awful.


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