Pain Full

Deja vu! It's been a grey day. I have been reading more about myeloma, not pulling the punches. It is written by a doctor, so there's a degree of detatchment. “The patient”, compliant – good. Smarty pants – very bad – and came to a bad end, literally. I read it's one of the most painful cancers. And I try to weigh up my choices. Smarty pants?

Am lying in bed, reiterating, “I still have a choice – to be joyful.” Somewhere deep within is that joy, just behind clouds tonight. Hold on, this is familiar territory!

I never knew that chronic pain could come in useful. It's been good practice. How many times have I lain there, reciting: “it's only this moment – now! It's not yesterday or tomorrow. Just now.” Step one of my Quick Steps for Pain: bracket the pain. And how many times a few hours later has the pain dimmed and sunlight washed the clouds.

The old trick looking inside: “Am I unhappy now at this moment?” And truthfully at that instant the answer's no. Unhappiness isn't in the immediate second – now. It is pervasive, brooded on, rather like scrambling an omelette in the pan. It is like a mist, creeping into your bones. But it isn't in this second – and if I can hold onto that, it will clear and the seconds run together. Oh, pain has been a good school and I have learned well. As for self-pity, I can't afford it. My psychic bank balance can't afford that energy withdrawal.

So now, in this moment, I am not unhappy, whatever lies ahead. Brahms Lullaby plays through my headset And I am taken back to the twenty-five year-old who stood, heart full, by the crb, watching our daughter snuffle in sleep. She who is a delight and comfort to us now. I can touch that girl, often scared with my husband flying, but deeply happy. I gather her to me and together we walk towards the future.

The music in perfect drops, like liquid in my soul. The offering of the best the composer can do, his moment of perfection; his offering to life.

I can be joyful – my choice. Difficult now, but with practice becoming easier – thank you, pain. Thank you life.

 

About UntraveledRoads

Fascinated by life, looking for answers to chronic pain and finding unexpected gifts. Interested in people, ideas, healing and humour. I am very happily married with three children and a kitten. As English born immigrants to Canada, we have family spread overseas, a daughter in South Africa and one in England. We also run a charity in South Africa to educate black, rural South African Women. Our first girl from a rural township has just graduated as an accountant from Johannesburg University and got a good job in a bank.
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