Trying to find my way through the darkness

It still feels like there’s a butcher knife in my right side.

I know, I know. I talk about it all the damn time.

But when you feel like you have a stab wound every second of every minute of every hour, you tend to bring it up in conversation.

You also tend to use words like “damn” more often. Actually, I’ve found myself swearing with abandon these days. It’s a habit I picked up during my time in newsrooms, and then was sort of forced to drop when I started leading young souls on Sunday mornings. However, when you’re at a level nine pain most of every day, swear words just seem more appropriate. At least for me.

You can tell yourself you’d choose more poetic words in my situation, and maybe you would, but I seriously doubt it.

I’m keeping it relatively clean on here because I think there’s some clause against swearing in my advertising contract. I’m hoping damn doesn’t count. On the scale of swear words, it’s pretty low on the totem pole.

I know there are a lot of people who believe that swear words are just a cop out. That true writers don’t need to depend on them. But I’ve never been against them, personally. Rather, it’s my opinion, as a writer, that it’s best not to limit your tool box. After all, swears are a string of letters just like any other words.

And my life has been in a state of swear words lately.

If there was ever a time to drop the F bomb, it’s when you’re trying to explain to someone how you woke up one sunny day in early February with a little bit of pain on your right side, and then the next day you were in the emergency room and since then everything you ever thought you believed about the world and your life and God has been tested.

Sometimes, only Hell will do, when you’re trying to tell someone the state you find yourself in most nights as you lie there on your back, praying you’ll just get it over with and die already, because there is no reason that anyone, anywhere should have to live in this kind of pain on a daily basis.

And sometimes, the only phrase that I, personally, can think to drop when I’m so angry at my maker that I want to slit my wrists, rhymes with Son of Witch.

Don’t worry. My pastor tells me God has big shoulders. He can handle it if I’m mad at Him.

I’m still on an insane amount of pills. I’m still in so much pain some days that I can barely will myself to get off the couch to go to the bathroom. And I still don’t know what the Hell is causing this.

I am seeing a pain psychiatrist though. She’s helping me with my depressive state. Personally, I like it best when she just lets me vent without getting annoyed that I’m talking about the fact that I hurt like Hell. Again. And crying like a water fountain the entire time.

But I’m also working on some other stuff with her. Like last week, she asked me to start keeping a gratitude journal. I’m supposed to write down three things a day that I’m thankful for. They can be anything. Like, I could write that I’m thankful for sunshine, cable TV and Taco Bell. Any three things at all in the world. I just have to write them down.

It doesn’t seem like it should be a hard assignment, but for someone who’s drifting deeper and deeper in the depths of the darkness, it can excruciating. In fact, I resisted this assignment so much that I put it off for three days with the lame excuse that I wanted to wait until I could go out and buy a new journal and start this thankful list thing right.

Before the pain started, I used to pray to God every night, and part of my pattern was to tell Him things I was thankful for from that day. But as things have just gotten worse and worse and I have felt only silence from Him, more and more nights have gone between prayers, and I’ve been thankful for less and less.

Finally though, last Saturday, I was at Walmart, and there was beautiful little journal with lovely pink flowers on a pale green background and I realized I couldn’t put it off any longer.

And so, I started the stupid list.

Five days in, well, I kind of like it. I kind of think it’s helping. It’s kind of become something I look forward to each day. When I write something down on it, like, “Conversation with my brother Steve,” or “Hanging out with my boyfriend Eric,” it somehow helps me appreciate it that much more the next day.

And when I have things, even small things like “air conditioning” or “sleeping late”, to appreciate, well then, I can start to see a little bit of the light again. It’s kind of bright, but it’s pretty glorious.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. — John 1:5

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