If we are friends on Facebook, you’ve probably already noticed that these last few weeks I’ve spent quite a bit of time speaking about chronic pain: baring my teeth at it, writing poetry about it, making fun of it, birthing more mildly delirious poetry out of it, dancing with it…
If you’ve ever grappled with chronic pain, you know why it has been in my mind so much: when the aches bite and bite, pain is the only thing in your mind… Yes, by “you” I mean “me.”
A person (possibly a relative *cough*) asked the question that tends to make anyone living with chronic pain grind their teeth and growl while visualizing shovels, heavy duty plastic bags and conveniently remote plots of soft soil… The person asked: “If you are in so much pain, how did you plan a wedding? I don’t want to say you aren’t really in pain, I’m sure you are, but I see you laughing and happy and I wonder if the pain is not just in your head.”
Smooth-handled shovel, large plastic bag, roomy trunk, soft dirt… *breathe, Magaly, breathe* Yes, my Wicked Luvs, when people turn their ignorance into noises that sound like words, the best remedy against their nonsense is to breathe deeply and walk away. Trying to deal with them on the spot can result in jail time… or in filthy car trunks and satisfied grins you can’t explain to squeamish company.
I did not give the prick the satisfaction, but I have no issues answering the questions after I’ve breathed (and glared) a few times: I fight the frowns with smiles and overdose on all the bliss I can find because when chronic pain has a body by the neck (the leg or the hip or the shoulder or the gut…) it’s best to self-medicate with pure happiness until the Soul’s high makes the body blur.
And no, embracing happiness when I can find it doesn’t make the pain go away—nothing does—but the cackles and dance brought up by bliss soothe the flesh and enchant the soul.
Dancing with my Boy… I could barely move my arms and legs for two days after that, but the memory still makes me grin like a happy lunatic. I will think about that today, while I spend a glorious day drifting from appointment to appointment… I’ll think about shovels and dirt, too… Hey! Gardening is great therapy. Don’t believe me? Ask Stetson and Eliot. ;-)