This is what I wake up to every morning. An arsenal of vitamins, supplements, and medications to manage my pain. You wouldn't know it if you saw me just walking down the street- for all intents and purposes, I look normal. What you don't know is that after a walk, once I'm safely behind my apartment building, I feel safe enough to wince through the pain and let my face show it; no one is around. I will even walk slower and limp up the stairs sometimes if it's bad.
I don't like people seeing that side of me. Over the past three years, I've gotten really good at faking it. I hate talking about the pain. I hate when people ask me about it. I hate having to take all of these pills because I don't believe in popping a pill to solve a problem. But I've tried so many different combinations and have found that this is what is working for me now.
In addition to all of the above, I manage my pain with meditation, walking, yoga, visualization, swimming, and just plain grinning and fucking bearing it. I marvel at people who wake up with relative ease and go throughout their day with maybe an occasional ache in their back or pain in their knee, but for the most part, only have to deal with day to day things.
I envy those people. I would give almost anything to live without pain, but it is part of my daily life. I think about it when I wake up; I think about it when I'm planning my day; I think about it when I have to get in the shower; I think about it when I have to walk to the metro; I think about it when I choose to do something social; I think about it when I do art; I think about it before I go to bed; and I think about it during most hours of the night since I am rarely able to get comfortable and sleep an unbroken amount of good sleep.
I'm not sure what lesson I'm supposed to learn (and I'm all about finding the lessons in life- it makes me feel like the rough experiences weren't all for nothing) in regards to having to manage pain and trying to live a relatively "normal" life. I'm still waiting to figure that out. In the meantime, I've chosen to make the best of it. I'm trying to find balance, always. It is an excruciating journey sometimes.
So, if I don't do the "courtesy jog" when I cross the street, forgive me- I'm in a lot of pain.