Displays of Affection

I’ve been actively not writing something for a while, but am starting to feel like it’s showing. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just me who can see the elephant in the room (it’s pink with orange polkadots, by the way – hard to miss from where I’m sitting). So I’m going to get it out of the way in the hope that it’ll unblock things.

I've had to give up hugging. The neck thing doesn't like it and when the neck thing ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Especially me. So I've given it up. At first, I was surprised at how little it bothered me and came to the conclusion that it was entirely understandable, as when something is likely to cause you pain, not doing it can be a relief. Then I had a wee meltdown not too long ago and realized somewhat belatedly - as you know, some days I'm blonde than others - that I've been up to my old tricks of repressing things. And let me tell you, I'm highly skilled at repression.

Isn't that a nice paragraph? All calm and distant. Unruffled, even. Accepting, moving on-ish, in perspective. It's all a façade. Were I Pinocchio, my nose would be hitting the monitor right now. In reality, it's killing me.

For a really long time I’ve felt as if I'm being pared down to the essentials. There was the flare before I started Enbrel, then as I slowly build up my stamina again, the rest of me changed, as well. I am learning to let go, focusing on what's important, stopping trying to control the uncontrollable. Much of this lesson has been wrapped up in learning that saying goodbye to what I used to think was essential for my happiness is the best thing I can do to become happy. As well as learning that very few things are essential.

Except, before you can let go, you have to grieve the loss. And I keep skipping over that part, which then bites me in the arse later. You can't skip over feelings like that, no matter how much you want to.

I'm trying to put a positive spin on it. I'm trying to tell myself that giving up hugging is going to be temporary, that when I heal, I can do it again. But in the back of my mind the fear lurks. The fear that it won't be temporary, that permanent damage has been done. And winter is coming - I know, I sound like a Stark - with its biting cold, wild fluctuations in the weather and the constant draft that makes my neck and shoulders seize up and stay that way until May arrives again. I am reminding myself to believe that anything is possible and to remember that choosing to be positive does wonders for my pain levels. But there, blocking it, is the grief.

This bloody thing – by which I mean the arthritis/pain/damage/injuries – has taken dancing, travelling to other countries, using my manual wheelchair, travelling in a regular car, typing, going to the movies, knitting, writing by hand, taking long walks, etc., etc., ad nauseam, and now the blasted son of a flea-ridden camel has taking hugging?? How did this become my life?

Nobody ever promised me that life would be fair, but it’s getting to be a bit much.


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