“Dear Pain…” Week 4

This week brings our first “Dear Pain…” series to a close. Huge thank you’s to those who wrote their letters and were brave enough to send them in.  Keep writing, and keep sending them in if you want me to share your letter in the next series.

I wrote my first letter to my pain in September of 2010. As I got ready to write my letter for this series I went back and read my first letter and I was so surprised at how much my feelings toward my pain had changed. How my life had changed, how I had changed.

I sat down to think about the last 3+ years of my life, and to really reflect on what I would say to my pain if it were a person. My submission to the “Dear Pain…” series is in true letter form, as if Pain were an acquaintance who was causing me hardship. As I wrote the letter I couldn’t shake the thought that this was going to be read by so many people, and I had to push myself to be open. To be vulnerable. To tell the truth from deep down about how I feel about Pain.

Blogging about my life with pain is one way of coping, but writing a letter to Pain felt infinitely more personal to me. As this post goes live I feel as if I am laying myself wide open to my readers. I hope you can find yourself in the words here, and that my letter inspires you to write to your Pain.

“Dear Pain…

“Hate” is a strong word and when I was growing up my mom and dad told me not to use it because it means that you want something to go away and never come back. But I do. I hate you. I want you to go away and never come back.

For the past three and a half years you have invaded my life and changed my every day into a constant guessing game. “How bad will the pain be today?”, “How much medication will I need to get through my day?”  Then there are the heavier questions like “what will this be like in 10 years?” and “How much worse will this get?” So I have to ask; Pain, will you ever go away?

I know you can’t answer any of these questions for me but I still need to ask just the same. You make me sad and frustrated and sometimes you make me scared. I’m sad because I don’t like to be so uncomfortable all the time. You make it hard for me to do the things that I love like I used to. I’m sad because you have forced me to give some of my favorite things up.

I’m frustrated because I don’t know why you keep coming back, or how to make you leave for good and I get scared because I worry that one day my doctors will tell me that there is something seriously wrong with me. I’m afraid because it seems like day after day, month after month you take just a little more from me. I’m terrified that one day you will have swallowed me whole.

I don’t really want to make you more powerful than you already are but it seems to me that you need to hear these things. Maybe if you knew it was this hard you wouldn’t hang around. Do you know that you make me so tired? Do you realize how much you force me to give up? Did you know that even my most favorite memories include you too? That whenever I think about how much fun I had on a night or day out, I also remember how much I hurt? Maybe you think we’re friends. I’m sorry, but we are not.

Friends help to make your life better, they are there to make you laugh and to make you feel important.  But you Pain- you make me feel old, and whiney and different. Different than all my friends who get to wake up every day and do what they want, when they want. Different because no one else close to me is dealing with something like you and that makes me feel alone.

Alone sucks. And since you are the cause of all the things that make me feel alone, I suppose it’s your fault I feel alone. Alone, when I know I’m not making any sense because the medication I took makes me loopy. Alone, because no one really knows what to say if and when I cry over you, alone because there isn’t anyone else in my life who truly understands what this feels like. Alone because there is no one that I feel like I can tell everything I am going through.

Sometimes I think that’s what you want; to make me feel lonely and sad and broken and sometimes I’ll admit-you win. But for as many times as you win, I will always win two more. There are so many things that you have taken from me, but I am telling you now that I am just not ever going to let go.

This life is mine and I won’t let you take it so I think it’s time for you to go. I know that you probably won’t listen and we’ll have this fight again and again but I am not going to back down. I know you think you can just come through and make it all about you, but I have too many things to do and people to love to make you my first priority. You’re not ever going to drive this bus, you’re relocated to the very back seat.

I understand that makes you upset and you think it’s unfair and that’s fine. If you don’t like it you can always leave.

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