Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Hope Springs Until Thursday

It's been a tough week and I haven't posted anything. I suppose I don't want to sound like a broken records of complaints and thoughts that the universe has diabolical plans for my existence.

But it's also been an interesting week. Over the weekend, I was surprisingly in a very low amount of pain and was faced strictly with the issues of addiction. When I'm alone in those very private moments, pill-free and pain-free (my version of pain-free anyway), I'm faced with the curious facts of my life and my history, and I find myself perplexed.

To be brief, I'm aware that I really don't know who I am without all the drama that accompanies the health and addiction issues. When things are quiet, I'm suddenly faced with, well...me. I have this wonderful life set up for myself, which I'm thankful for as I've been able to forge one despite the complications. But when the path before me is clear, I'm lost, as ironic as that sounds. I'm so used to pain and illness (physical or mental) that I'm actually frightened when things suddenly aren't so dramatic--when life beckons with potential.

Part of me fears that without drama, life will be boring, and it does make me wonder if my subconscious somehow creates problems in order to continue the pattern that has been so familiar to me since childhood.

Then again, it's hard to fathom how the subconscious could dig so deeply into biological pathologies--into my bone marrow fer chrissakes--and create such havoc.

Still, it's not lost on me that I expect disappointment in life, particularly when things are going well. Disappointment and betrayal have been constant themes, and the betrayal of my own body has been the unkindest cut of all.

I wrote at length in my journal this weekend, seeing so very clearly the sequence of events that continue to play themselves out in a way that's almost scripted; the players and circumstances change, but the results are always the same: I'm felled and crippled back to square one, constantly starting over only to be disappointed and restricted yet again by some new catastrophe.

I suppose this isn't anything extraordinary. People repititiously get into abusive relationships all the time; drugs and alcohol can be a constant theme for someone for decades; workaholics never see their folly until they're on their deathbeds. Clearly, I fall into a similar category, only my story is slightly different; I ride high with great expectations until something hits me so hard that I'm KO'd in that championship fight where I'm the odds-on favorite. This happens over and over and over.

Even though I've technically been a painkiller addict for four and a half years, I've buried my deepest self and escaped in other ways that have been just as profound, and just as damaging, throughout my adult life.

Physically, something was terribly wrong with my health starting in my late 20s and through my 30s (not diagnosed until my 40s), but that was the side story to my workaholism, which manifested as a music career. I was addicted to it wholeheartedly. I defined who I was by it, and I had no other life other than music for years. While I've never regretted, not even once, any song I've ever written (they seemed to come through me to the extent I almost don't feel responsible for them), being the singer/songwriter was extremely stressful for me as I just didn't feel worthy of the success that I knew the music could bring.

It was as though my own work was bigger than me, and I didn't have the self-esteem it took to shepherd my songs and performances to the success they deserved. But I sacrificed myself for them completely out of pure ambition, and that's the affliction any addict will tell you they identify with.

Despite discovering these new insights, I woke up yesterday morning with that familiar plaguing pain, which again so deeply disappointed me. Surely, when I had these insights the night before, I thought for sure they would be curative. But they weren't, and I'm now back on the pills.

The Pain Center at Hackensack Medical Center has agreed to offer me a consultation on Thursday. As I don't have PNH (talked about in an earlier email), I feel like this is my last hope for relief.

Earlier this evening, my spirits were descending into the logical place where most chronic pain patients with my condition find themselves--that the only logical place left to go is to check out for good, which would be the ultimate painkiller.

As soon as I had that thought (almost to the second), the Pain Center called saying they had an opening Thursday. It's not the first time something like this has happened--that some kind of intervention happened at exactly the moment I needed it, offering some glimmer of hope to keep me going for a few more days. It's like my guardian angel puts in an emergency report to God, saying, "We've got to do something or we're going to lose her."

I've no idea what to expect Thursday. While tonight hope might not be springing eternal, it's at least springing until Thursday.


No comments: