Around the Next Bend

Incessant shrill cheeping coming from the huge nest perched atop one of the power poles greeted me on my morning walk. Hoping for a glimpse of the noisy chicks or even a look at the adult osprey feeding their hungry brood I slowed my pace. Oh well perhaps they were off hunting or fishing. No matter, the cheeps thrilled me. Happy just to be alive and walking I delighted in the day and the chorus.

With each step I thought back to the days past when I dragged my feet as every move fired shards of pain through my body. Fibromyalgia had become my “new norm”. My days were filled with medication and whatever treatment I managed to find. This was not the stuff of scintillating conversation. Nor was my account of my sleepless nights filled with pain and infomercials.

I lived from sauna to sauna, hot tub soak to hot tub soak, from medication to medication. When I found a new treatment, I embraced it with every ounce of enthusiasm I could muster hoping and praying it would be the one that helped.

As each prescription, each physician, holistic practitioner and treatment failed to help, my desperation and fear grew. What if there was no cure, no relief? What would become of me?

The anger and self-pity festered and grew. I lashed out aiming my sarcasm at whoever was nearest. Another direct hit, another lost friend, one of many, who scurried to get away from me. Who could blame them?

Friends and acquaintances joined the growing list of what used to be, a list which included my teaching career, movies, photography, ceramics… Bit-by-bit my world was shrinking. The me that used to be was no more, replaced by a pain obsessed, over-medicated shell of my former self.

My lowest of lows descended when I could not find a medication, a treatment, even a temporary reprieve I had not already tried. Then my thoughts turned to ending it all. But what if I botched a suicide attempt? I could end up even worse than I was now. Could I possibly be any worse?

Visions of a stooped, wizened, lonely, self-centered woman old before my time begging for my next dose of painkillers in a nursing home appeared. Was this my fate?

Enough of the past, I delight in the day, in each and every day since I found Joy of Healing (www.joyofhealing.com). I celebrate my remission, nearly fifteen glorious years without the debilitating pain and prescriptions. Eager to see what lies around the next bend in the path, the next phase of my journey, I pick up my pace.

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