Sunday, March 08, 2009

No Magical Thinking Allowed

I think I'm losing it. Seriously. The pain level has mysteriously upped a few notches, and I'm just beside myself.

I got up at around 4 a.m. to go to bed (my cat woke me up from the couch) and it struck me while walking to the bathroom that my whole life has become about this pain. I'm just so drained that I don't even want to do the things I use to love so much. They don't interest me right now, and all I really want to do is ramp up the medication to a point where I'm just plain numb. That's no kind of life, of course, and with one false move, it won't be any life at all.

What's so strange about this whole debacle is that the existential questions forced upon me are questions I've been asking for as far back as I can remember. Who are we, us humans? And why are we here? I can actually remember thinking this stuff as a teenager, which I thought for sure was evidence that I was going insane as I didn't see anyone else fretting like this.

Don't get me wrong: I was all teenager and filled all the prerequisites for those years, but I always seemed to have a third eye at work, just observing everything from a curious point of view. When trauma and depression set in, this curiosity first evolved into dissociation, where I truly felt like I was a ghost in the room, and then it morphed into just plain anxiety. (This may, of course, say more about my upbringing than my curious nature.)

I suppose my point is that I've never been able to just set this existential quandry aside for any extended period of time and just relax, just enjoy. And so much of it, as it appears from where I sit now, has been about faith.

When I was a kid, my questions may have erupted from dissatisfaction with my Catholicism, where God was harsh and the nuns were harsher. If this was what God was about, I wanted no part of it.

But as I got older, I did find faith through the writings of Florence Scovel Shinn, who taught me how to affirm and pray and surrender, and I watched my life expand in glorious new ways. In fact, my journal entries during this period are almost heartbreaking to read, as they're so joyful, so full of humor. When I read them now, I can almost hear a brooding soundtrack in the background as a type of foreshadowing of what will soon befall this happy hapless victim--mainly, an abandonment so complete by who she thought was her God that she ended up in a mental institution.

I've been thinking about Jesus and his words on the cross after he'd been crucified, when he asked, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" I don't think God answered him, and he certainly didn't provide him with a happy ending. I suppose one could say that Jesus then rose from the dead, and that's supposedly happy, but I'm not really sure what all those Bible stories are ever getting at. Is the lesson here that I'm supposed to endure a painful life, die an awful death, then be reborn with God? Who cares?

At least Jesus only lasted three days on the cross while hurt and pissed off. I've been bearing my own cross for five years now, and to a lesser extent, the four years before that. Enough already.

Once again, I'm coming to the conclusion that no god is going to get me out of this. Either I'll get out of pain or I won't. No magical thinking allowed.

I've known about a surgeon in Burlington, VT for awhile now who treats this, and he's come highly recommended.

I've waited out the winter to go see him, due to the weather, but it's time now to stop all this intellectual crap and just make an appointment, debt be damned.

I'd love to think that I could get well magically, through faith or faith-healing or resolving some long ago hurt that is really the key to all this, as that would ironically give me some sense of control. If I have the surgery, it will either work or it won't, but if I could resolve this in some other way, I suppose my faith would be restored, and I could go back to a more innocent existence.

I'm in a dangerous place tonight. Last week, I felt on the brink of something good, but now I just feel on the brink. My heart is breaking and I'm not sure how much more of this I want. I'm sick of being brave. I'm sick of enduring, of hoping, of trying. I'm just sick, and it's no way to live.


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1 comment:

Dave Scriven said...

O Mary Ann, I am so sorry you hurt. While it's nothing compared to your pain, I feel pain just reading your story tonight. Please try to stay on the safe side of the brink. I offer you my prayers and this verse hoping it will impart comfort in the midst of your despair.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2.20

I am your friend. Dave