The Guilt of Pain, or the Pain of Guilt

My bones ache as if they are crumbling with every movement, and MRIs have shown that is more than likely the case.  My spine is compressing, I am loosing cartilage in my vertebras, they rub together causing friction and pain that I may never fully be able to describe.  Colder weather triggers the arthritis that is caused by this friction and any time stress creeps into my life it wraps around the base of my spine like a serpent finding a nesting ground.  I cannot dislodge it and I cannot will it away.  Simple tasks like leashing the dogs cause radiating pain to take my breath away, and then comes the guilt in waves of self deprecating angst and hostility.

For the most part I have come to terms with my shoddy spine and overall pain.  I have accepted that this is something in my life that I cannot truly control, and that I will have to deal with forever.  I can accept that life has dealt me this body until I am really brutally honest about it. It isn’t necessarily the pain that bothers me, all though I could do without it, but the guilt of not being able to function like the majority of people, or even the person I want to be.

I used to be more active.  I walked Nico dog two hours a day (typically) and before he came into my life I was into kickboxing and all sorts of working out.  I love being outdoors and walking, being one with the world, and feeling the strength in my thighs as I push myself to limits.  Or rather, I used to love those things, and I am sure in the back of my mind I still do.  The devastating thing is knowing that I love those things, want those things for myself and my furry beasts and family now, but am unable.  Somehow, I still hold on to that girl that I was and every day wake up and think that I will be able to do the things I want to do.  However, some days I cannot.  I simply cannot get my back to function well enough to entertain the thought of washing my hair, let alone actually getting dressed and wondering about the world.

Enter the guilt of being a “sick” person.  When my pain is unbearable, I cannot do anything productive.  I cannot answer the phone, walk the dogs, load the dishwasher, or wash my stupid hair.  I simply cannot concentrate on something long enough to be a good friend, or person, let alone do something  requiring my body to comprehend what it means to be said person.  The house easily turns into a tomb of things that I should be doing.  An ongoing to do list of things I have every intention of doing.  It leaves me in a dark place wanting desperately for someone to say that I do not have to do anything if I do not feel good, that just for today I can rest and feel better.  However, in all honesty when people say that I still feel guilty and I feel as if I have let them down.

My pain is invisible.  Unlike a broken bone, one cannot see the depths of my condition by looking at me.  I look healthy.  I look like I should be able to do anything that I want to do.  I look like a person that should take a fucking shower and go outside.  I feel like people look at my healthy outward appearance and think that I am lazy because the dishes are not done, and really how hard is it to load a dishwasher?  How hard is it really to take a shower?  Today? Impossible.

I feel guilty for not being able to do things because I am in pain.

I am in pain because I feel guilty that I am not able to do things.

This curse of a body, this cycle of withering bones and Fibromyalgia leave me feeling like a shell of a person because I cannot function as I believe the world needs people to.  As I believe the people that love me need me to.


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