I tried working the other day. I only made it four hours till I was curled up in a pathetic ball of pain. My focus was wavering and I couldn’t in good conscience continue driving.
What the fuck.
It’s not like I have cancer, or MS, Muscular dystrophy or anything like that. The main thing I got from doctors was either my nerves are over-active or I’m making it up.
I was happy.
I didn’t have a desk job. It was always something new, something challenging. I’d found the department I wanted to work in. I was making friends, learning, growing…
Then my body said fuck it.
I felt like someone was taking needles and 1, 3, 8 at a time digging them into the joints in my chest. The rhomboid in my back was threatening to either tear or break something but it never did.
I was happy.
People needed me. I was useful. But there I was, a little more than 5 years on from Oct 4, 2011, trying to be helpful, forcing myself to believe I had gotten over whatever this is, but still broken. If I just persevere through it, I thought, I could continue the life I put on pause.
There are terminal people in the world who are still working, still being useful/helpful and here I am a crumpled ball writing stories to try and get over the depression.
People are worse off than I am.
I was just certified to work on cars, then the industry crashed and no one wanted to hire me. Then I started learning the ins-and-outs of the film world. I got a few jobs and was making contacts, I was having fun. The best year of my life.
What do you do?
How do I answer that question without sounding like a child who doesn’t want to move out of his parents house? No one wants to hear a sob story. Everyone has their bullshit to deal with. “Grow a pair!” “You just have to work through the pain and stop being a bitch.” I’ve thought of everything people say to millenials. Those overgrown sheltered babies who can’t hold a job because for one reason or another they don’t understand the real world isn’t going to coddle them.
I don’t want to be coddled.
I wanted to move out. I wanted my own place. I wanted to pay my student loan. I was ready. I was doing everything right. My credit card never maxed out, I made payments on everything.
But the real world said fuck you.
I lost muscle mass and weight from not moving cuz of the pain. I literally forced myself to come up with little tasks and projects to do just to move, cuz I couldn’t bear lying down in bed being in constant pain anymore. I was in pain but at least I was doing something. From 155lbs to 123. When you’re 5’8” 123 is scary. Emaciated would be the operative word. I’d seen the outline of bones I’d never seen before. And it angered me.
I wasn’t sure if it was hurting me in the long run but I was mad at my body. I forced myself to workout again. Every single 5 minute workout would render me motionless for a week. I was enraged. I wasn’t dying, I didn’t have cancer, they have it worse than me. I forced every workout beyond tears. Muscles in my back not withstanding, I was at least going to stop looking emaciated. Then I was back at 155. The needle pain in my chest joints had settled down and now they only visit me for short periods thanks to one doctor who didn’t treat me like I was worthless.
I was improving.
It had taken a little over 4 years but I’d gotten some of my strength back, but the body pains still persisted. When it rains I feel like I’ve overworked my upper body even though I’ve done nothing. I shake when I move, picking up a fuckin gallon of milk is a chore. I don’t know what it feels like for muscles to actively tear off your bones, but this makes me imagine it.
Standing, sitting, laying down. My day consists of moving between these trying to alleviate the pain. “Get a sitting job.” I’ve heard it often. My legs don’t hurt. My legs are perfectly fine. You don’t know how much of your upper body you use while sitting. I couldn’t even write this without doubling over my keyboard, body shaking, elbows supporting my upper body on my thighs, because I’ll be damned if I’m forced to stop something I’m doing. But then after a while, 10 more minutes after I’ve doubled over, the needles start inserting themselves into my chest joints again. I fight against them until the tears come. I fight them off too. My body shakes with every breath. Focusing becomes harder and harder. I spite the pain for as long as I can. I thought, hey maybe I can start working again.
I tried to work for a day. I didn’t finish the job. A little more than 5 years now and within 2 hours I slow down. In 4 I become worthless. So I’ll continue to escape into writing. I can control my words. I can control my words.