Wretched pain shoots through your body, and you have no idea how to deal with it. The ache becomes your life, your being, your everything. You don’t know what to do, so you go to a professional who tells you that they have no idea what you’re talking about. “Nothing has those symptoms,” they say, as you tell them your story. So you go home feeling that maybe they were right, maybe it’s just something that’ll go away with time.
That’s what gets you. You let your guard down and the pain comes again. This time it’s more debilitating than the last. But you move on, you pretend that everything is all right, until one day you can no longer take it. You wind up hospitalized, and they tell you that you’re near death. Finally, when the tests are done, they give you a diagnosis of “chronic.” It’s so bad that there’s no cure.
The word that means the end of your carefree life.
Something that kills your soul.
The word that rips your heart out and holds it in front of your face while you watch it stop beating.
Then you find yourself in a world where people whisper that you’re faking it or that you’re doing it for attention, and pretending to be chronic because you want people to feel sorry for you. No one realizes that you are dead inside. This thing has taken your passion, your life and your dignity. The friends that once thought you were remarkable, now find you to be a boring and not worth their time. They tell you they still love you, while they’re saying that you are being overly dramatic behind your back.
This is your life now. You pray to anything that’ll listen, and know that no one is. The Universe has abandoned you in your time of need, so you declare war. War on life and war on this chronic thing inside you!
That’s when you become the goddess of pain with a smile, the god of keeping it to yourself, and the deity of “I’m fine. It’s nothing. Don’t worry about me.” Still you struggle with the words as you say them. They stick in your throat, which becomes dry and tastes of the bittersweet lies you tell the people around you.
The life you once treasured becomes a battlefield filled with promises that your body is unable to keep. You are alone. All alone. And no one understands this chronic illness inside you. “No cure,” you hear as the tourniquet gets pulled tighter and tighter, and the needles gets pushed in a vein that explodes inside you. “One little pinch,” they tell you, while the poison, that they consider medicine, injects into your arm and burns you from the inside. You stick yourself with needles at home that make you so tired you can’t move. Your face becomes unknown to you as it blows up and distorts from the side effects of the oral medication. “The miracle drug” that no longer works because your body has become immune to it.
This is what you are used to. People calling you faker…liar. Life becoming more difficult by the minute. Your world spinning out of control. Your body becoming a battleground…
Chronic is a simple, detestable word that makes your life a living hell. Combined it with disease and you have fallen down a rabbit hole that you can’t get out of…no matter how much you climb, you will always wind up with bloodied hands and scrapped knees, only to find that you haven’t even lifted yourself off the quick sand you now stand on.
Two words that cannot be tamed.
Plans made, and then broken.
Everything on hold.
Spiraling out of control…and you just can’t stop it.
(Short Story by: Laura Del)