I pull out my hair tie and fluff my natural curls across my pillow. I have covered myself in essential oils produced by the earth. I lay with healing crystals surrounding my being. I am contentedly comforted by my surroundings. Yet. I have found it quite necessary to indulge in a concoction of medicinals to help ease my intense pain. I have turned away from my writing as of late because the pain has been so severe. For me, it seems hard to do things that you enjoy when your focus becomes taking care of the need that seems so immediate. And, as I so long for the blissful sleep that I seemingly describe when I opened this post, it does not come for me this evening.
As I sit here and write, I am pulled to my father, and the pain he suffered with during his last month on this earth. Pain that was unrelenting. Pain that sometimes I knew nothing about, and sometimes, I feel as though he didn’t either. It came as if out of nowhere, and then, overtook all of him. So, when I speak of my pain, I feel as though, sometimes, I have no right to. Because of what I bore witness to. Seeing your father quite literally not be able to move his feet, his legs, his hands, his arms, and not be able to pick himself up; that’s pain. Inexorable pain. And he forced me to be stronger than it. Strong enough to hold my mother up when she needed. Strong enough to relinquish the things in my life that meant the most to me at that moment. Strong enough to let my father go when it was his time. And strong enough to eulogize my father- for my mother, my sister, my brother, and myself.
And yet, everyone does indeed have the right to bear their own pain. Grief is a large part of this, and as stated earlier- emotional (where grief falls) and physical pain (acute/chronic) do encompass a large part of my life. But they do NOT define me. I’ve written about my depression and anxiety, and subsequently my fibromyalgia, chronic back pain (post back surgery), and chronic ankle pain due to reconstructive surgery from a sprain. I also deal with a connective tissue disorder that was downgraded from Lupus- which comes with it its own host of complications and issues (chronic migraine, joint swelling and pain, changes in eye site, skin changes/rashes, etc.) I know pain. I have it. I heal.
But being stronger than pain means that I must find ways to comfort myself through those darkest times, when the pain is at its cruelest. When you feel like you are in a drunken dark hole, and you can’t get out. And you succumb to your tears. And your father’s face appears. And his hurt is present. And you know the strength he has given you will endure this pain too. Because it always has. And you will continue to do what you do; meditation and prayer through crystals, and use of thousand-year-old essential oils, and water therapy, and herbal supplements, and medicinals- that were prescribed. Because I listen to my doctor. Like my father always did.