I vouced to myself to become more regular on this blog, to post something every Thursday. I had also vouched to never let this blog be a place where I complained or ranted about my personal problems.
I'm going to break both those promises to myself.
I've lived in pain for four years. It's not an excruciating kind of pain - maybe 1-5 on a scale of 10 - and it's not close to the very tangible problems of living with say lupus, migraines or fibromyalgi. It started as a headache and for the last years it's spread to my shoulders, back, and now recently my lower back. Doctors say it's psychosomatic, i.e. all in my head. They could be right because no one has found any fault with me, not that they've made much of an effort.
The pain is there nevertheless.
I found ways to deal. I can't take painkillers because 1) they make me addicted and 2) because they only help at the 'topmost' pain - it takes a 5 to a 2. I tried keeping super busy so I wouldn't have time to think about feeling crappy. That didn't work out very well. Now I try to afford a massage session once a week, I exercise a lot to improve my strength, I avoid heat (even sometimes tea) as it makes me collapse (literary), I take extra iron because it helps against the nausea and the dizziness.
I've never had a fabulous self-confidence but I've effectively kept that voice down in the past. Unfortunately, when you spend all your energy on battling pain, there's not much left to lift yourself up.
And people don't understand. When my sister spent her whole pregnancy feeling nauseous, family and friends asked her if she needed to lay down, if she thought she felt good enough to come along to family dinners etc. That's something people can relate to. They can't relate to being unable to actually focus your eyes on a face. They can't relate to how unbearable a small pressure in your head can become. How noise and talk sometimes help me, how other times it cuts hard. They can't relate to having a half cup of energy left, or how I can run 10km but only visit them for two hours. How horrid it is to stand in the warm drying room, reaching my arms over my head to hang laundry.
I'm not saying this for pity. I'm not saying this because I want help. I'm saying it so you'll understand that if I suddenly go quiet, or don't write a blog post, or snap at you, then it's not your fault.
And I'm hoping that you won't judge me too harshly. I'm not at my best at that moment. I know it's a poor excuse for being rude. I try to be better. I hope one day I will be better.
Until then, I will take each hour as it comes. Step after step. And I hope I won't stand on too many toes.