Dark days and nights give way to for desire for the sun but a call for rain. A look to the sky speaks to the wanting, the waiting for the lightning to strike to feel the easiest reprieve for the karmic destiny that has befallen me. Wondering why not just take it all, why leave me then to weather the storm and give the hope for brighter days ahead. It’s under that rain and wind where I feel like the world and I are finally aligned.
It’s that recoil from the sweet, the pleasant. It hurts at times to be helped because in the my mind, it feels as if I am the poison that would corrupt and corrode all those around. The sweet that gives me shade as the barriers begin to crack and break, the adrenaline which I used as fuel begins to get used up, and all I feel how much the frustration and despair turn to pain and sadness. The way I had always learned to cope it to continue to push forward unrelentingly because I knew if I stopped, I might never get up again.
It’s in watching the sky as rain falls do the tracks tears begin to form. A welling up of emotion finally begins to overflow, and the water of the world becoming indistinguishable from this water pouring out from within. There is some solace in it as it assures me that I exist. The cold no longer bothers me as the clarity of the moment lets me breathe easier. The up and down stabilizes as these emotions I had been holding inside begin to settle.
I spend many moments there, sitting under the sky wondering what my purpose in this world, and if there would be a purpose to my suffering. Those nights when lying in bed become easier as the exhaustion from those emotions put me to sleep quickly. By the time the morning comes, the clouds have gone away, though I know not forever. I will appreciate the sun while I still have it as I try to find peace within myself and quell the storm brewing within. Long days and nights are still ahead, but the whether it’s one storm or many, there can be peace in the recoil from both the pain and the promise.
It was there staring at the ceiling that I realized what trouble I was in. Being pumped into were drugs I’ve only heard of in news stories for their role in the recent opioid epidemic. I can be honest, there was part of me that was scared of what could happen to me as a result of these addictive substances, but at least for the moment, it made the sharp pain in my back and chest fade away. This though is the least of the pain, the one that has so much easier to manage.
When you’re hurt you become very acquainted with the ceilings of whatever room you are in. Flat, clean, colored, and pockmarked, each had to have been planned to look uniform and unoffensive to the eyes. It’s in them that I been thrust into these quiet moments, a standard silence that can turn into a mania of the mind attempting to quell the thoughts and energies that were left unspent during the day.
It was easy when I slept most of the day, where I would close my eyes and hours would drift away as my body focused on healing the muscles and bones that I disrupted when I decided to play with hunks of metal and concrete. Even when I left that sterile place, and made it back into a bed of my choosing sleeping was easy, regardless of the several hour intervals, I would be required to awake and take a dose to keep to the pain from getting any worse. I was not afraid of this pain, pain of the body I can deal with as I have all my life. My tolerance for this pain is high because I know I can always push through it. It’s in the echoes of my mind that issues arise.
It’s when sleep when not would come and that my mind wandered that this second sense of fear arose. I had beaten the drugs that threatened to hold me down but what would help me now in this time of need. In a darkly lit room, minutes feel like hours as the stimulus of the plain white ceiling would never be enough. My go to would be to reach to my phone for some reprieve, but I know that the LED screen would take more from me than it would give. The echos of pain as I had nothing else to think about would resonate until all I could feel was the bruising on my back, and the inability to breath.
I have laid there wishing that I had spent more time learning to meditate and praying that the quiet would return. In the wee hours of the morning when no one has any business being up, I would sit there staring at the ceiling, thinking about life, liberty, and where my happiness my now lies. The one consolidation is that I am crazy enough to tilt at windmills so as thoughts would come I promised myself to explore them. Once I allowed these thoughts to come and sat there with them for a while they became less painful and more pleasant. Like concentrated daydreams, thoughts manifest without the worry of everyday reality to bog it down. The ceilings drift away as my mind was allowed to paint the picture it wanted and dance as it needed. Sleep became easy because I was not worried or scared of these thoughts anymore, they are part of the process as I learned to enjoy them.
Pain itself is only a hindrance if is seen as unnatural or antithetical to the process of healing. Though some pain is immense it a reminder that my body is hurt and there is healing needing to be done. So embrace the pain as part of the process, see it as a testament of strength because each day that passes and we push forward our lives will fill the void that the pain has wrought.
I want to end with another quote, the poem Invictus about the struggles of being brought bare and not letting yourself be destroyed by the circumstances we had found ourselves.
Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
I couldn’t think, or write. I had used my resources up and hadn’t recovered. All it felt like was like mind went blank.
It was like working out too hard, each time I tried to use it my brain all I felt was how tired I was. Over the last month, I have been moving from place to place, activity to activity, going to weddings, conferences, getting sick, and turning in final papers and my head just had enough. It’s honestly the first time I have ever felt this way, so brain drained that I needed just to sit and do nothing for a while. The first time in months I picked a video game because I needed the sweet relief on not having to process anything, just to work on doing something mindless as I recovered. Sure I have been tired but never like this. It’s worse than when we are around people too long because all that takes is being alone, or resting from the working out when you just avoid the activity. Have you ever tried to avoid thinking, especially if you are a chronic overthinker?
It felt like putting keys into an old car and trying to turn on the engine. The repeated attempts to turn the car over as you hear the revving over and over, sure it will start but doesn’t sound like it wants to.
I had to keep at it, needed to delay this rest as long as possible. Stuff was still due (it still is) and so much was pouring on my head. Maybe it was from the lack of breathing from all the work I’ve been trying to finish or the lack of sleep I have been getting. It wasn’t even like a zen emptiness or a meditative state, just uncomfortable blank.
Either way, it weird feeling, when your brain needs a break. Maybe it will get bigger after this, though I think with all I am doing, its probably more harm than good.