Sometimes, in the pain, all I can find is a breath. It doesn’t always feel like mine. I don’t know where it comes from, but somehow it’s there for me to take refuge in. One small one after another.
Sometimes, in the nausea, all I can find is an image of me on a beach, with the sun in my hair and the sea wind on my face. I imagine myself there. The nausea doesn’t fade away but there’s a glimmer of possibility that its not here to stay.
Sometimes, in the physical stress, all I can find is a sense of peace from stories I’ve heard of what people have come through and what they once were, and what they are now.
Sometimes when my eyes are too sore to open, I find comfort in the blackness they see. I hear the small voice inside myself telling me it’s okay.
Sometimes when my ears can’t handle the ringing inside me, from the nook and crannies in discomfort and pain, I put on a song and let it sit there on repeat. The words are like softness and sing through my body. The singer is like comfort, company and an air of courage beside me as I cry, into my stranger’s body.
Sometimes, all I can do is find a part of me that isn’t in panic or turmoil or pain and sit there. Most of the time it’s only my breath. Every other inch of me is in agony. Places I didn’t know existed until this shrew of pain has taken nest inside my body, and continues to find new homes.
Sometimes when all this is going on and all I can do is lie there, by brain runs wild with panic, but there’s an essence of connection with something bigger than this. Something bigger than me. Something that must be doing this so I can learn a new corner of me.
Sometimes all I can do is remember – I exist.
Nothing I have experienced is as lonely as this. As a slipped disc. As chronic fatigue. As severe dizziness and weakness and newfound, or worsening, elements of the chronic fatigue. As moving house a bunch of times in two months. As just all of this.
Sometimes, when I have to do something and I have no idea how I will be able to, when my body can’t leave the bed, all I can find is a memory inside myself of how I used to be. Of how I will be again one day, only different and healthier and gentler. With myself and how I am in this world.
Never have I longed for someone to look after me more.
Sometimes, when all I can feel is the terror, the blinding discomfort, pain and fatigue rippling through the grains of my body, shredding open any pockets of comfort or joy, and the desperate longing to be looked after, all I can do, is cuddle that part of myself. Sob with that part of myself. Share her fear and listen to it, and realise that in this, I am parenting it. I am the one that’s coming to the rescue, in a moment when I can hardly feel like I can rescue myself, I realise I am doing it.
I don’t know how I am going to get through today. I don’t know how things are going to be okay. I don’t know how my body is going to be okay. But I find the knowing inside myself – buried beneath the fears and pretend truths – that I know she will be. And she already is. Somehow.