I have a theory about chronic pain. Life with chronic pain is like living in a parallel universe that alternates between slow motion and rewind, while the rest of the world passes by at regular speed. Moving quickly does not happen in this world, and progress happens over months and years, with setbacks occurring in the blink of an eye, rewinding you all the way back to the beginning. In this slow motion walk, those in chronic pain get left behind. Because life does not follow the same speed, it does not have the same potential for dream upon dream or more than one task or pursuit at a time. Progressing through normal stages of life, meeting goals, or accepting opportunities that arise may be vague dreams that never come to fruition, disappointments that must be dealt with on a daily basis.
This parallel universe is a place where suffering occurs at the hands of your own body. Your body does not work for you like it does on earth. No, at times your body becomes your worst enemy. It fights against you, plagues you, enslaves you, but unlike at the hands of an enemy, you can never escape your own ceaselessly present body.
And so you begin to lose your identity to this pain that plagues you, and you begin to forget that you ever once resided on earth. Every part of you that once was is no longer. And the burden begins to transform you in startling ways, altering you into someone or something that you do not even recognize. For so long you seek to hold on to that person you used to be, that healthy, vibrant, active person. But sometimes pain does not go away. And when this reality sets in, you begin to realize that if the pain will not go away, you must instead remake yourself into a new version of who you once were. Because if you do not do the hard work of remaking yourself and going with the pain, instead of against it, you will not like what you become. And letting go of the old you, the one from the universe next door where everyone walks forward at normal speed, may be the hardest part of this remaking journey.
This is the life I am currently living, surviving in a universe that after several years still feels foreign, confusing, and especially misunderstood by those healthy individuals on the outside. So why do I write? Perhaps writing will turn the confusing into truth and bring the misunderstood into light. I write for personal healing, I write for others following a similar path to know they are not alone, and I write for all those who observe on the outside, that you might better understand and walk alongside.