People say they can’t imagine what I’m going through, and I say, “Don’t try, it’s not worth it.” But if you really want to know, I feel like it’s the emotional equivalent of my kidney stone. That was the worst lasting physical pain I had ever felt. I had injured myself before, causing pain that was as intense, but those injuries seemed to fade quickly and the pain diminished steadily with time. The kidney stone was the first experience where I had no expectation of relief with the passage of time. In fact, the pain seemed to grow with every moment, until I was watching the second hand on the clock and challenging myself to make it another 60 seconds. In the end, I threw up and passed out from the pain. I am afraid to find out what the emotional equivalent of that ending may be.
The pain is both local and diffuse. It is in a place that I can identify, but cannot reach. It cannot be massaged to give any sort of relief. It drains the entire body of energy, and it is felt radiating in the extremities. And while it saps my strength, it simultaneously compels me to move. Not that the motion provides any relief, except perhaps as a distraction, a way to mark time, hoping that the peak is near and that the pain will begin to subside. But to sit still is impossible – the body HAS to move, just as you can’t rest your hand on a hot stove. But the source of the pain follows wherever you go. The best you can do is distract yourself for a period of time, and that takes energy.
Waking, getting to sleep, long drives, running – these experiences, which require mental quiescence, are the most challenging times. They used to be my most productive, creative times. Now the pain prevents any real focus.