We all have different chains. And we all have them. The chains we have are chronic pain, stigma, doubt, and our own reactions to the pain as well as depression. Like my self-worth has really taken a shot from having chronic pain for decades. And I carry that weight with me. What Nietszche is talking bought is societal chains. But our chains, the pain, the stigma, the reaction to the pain, comorbid mood disorders… are a heavy and tight chains to have been loaded down with.
And it is true we have to learn to dance in our chains. Know that these are the chains that we have. We will not be rid of them. It is our burden to carry. We accept that. And we, occasionally, have acceptance and we, occasionally, live our lives anyway. We find a way to dance with those chains. A way to live our lives with that burden of pain weighing us down and restricting us.
Depression… well that is knowing the chains are there and knowing how heavy they are and knowing we will never be rid of them. And fixating on that. Feeding the pain and stuck in an infinite loop that feeds on itself. Everything that could add pain and suffering just gets added to the infinite loop and we can never escape it. Depression never lets us see beyond the infinite loop of its own suffering. Clarity only comes when we are outside of it and then we remember what we were thinking and how easily we can get sucked back it.
How do we do it though? Dance in our chains? They are some damn heavy chains. Reminds me of the ghost in Scrooge. Woe is me, dragging my chains around. It must have to do with the fact that we know there are moments of lesser pain we can take advantage of. Steal moments. And in those moments who knows what sort of dance we could get?
Easier said than done. With chronic pain I can say we should take advantage of lower pain levels to go out and do things, in moderation and pacing ourselves. But I am talking about Fibromyalgia pain and other forms of pain. Migraine pain doesn’t play by those rules. It doesn’t care if you pace or moderate. It stills slams into you. You can’t so much of anything when it does. Functionally you are not all there. And you are fatigued. And dopey. And dizzy. And nauseated. And the pain makes conversation hard. The environment of sound and lights makes it rather painful to be anywhere. You cannot dance in those chains. Maybe sit there with a sort of blank expression and try a half-assed conversation. At the same time being more aware of the pain than literally anything else. It isn’t the same kind of pain. It is more Present. I have them every day and I am not sure how one gets around that. Moves around that, or with that. FM, yes. Migraines… not so much. I force myself to do small things, but I am just not all there and I cannot function well at all.
It does make sense if you Don’t get them every day though. Live in those days. But for those of us who Do get them everyday. I am just not quite sure what we ought to do. I have been told to accept the pain and live my life. I do accept it. But I have to say if it was just the FM this would be substantially easier. And maybe people don’t get that. But migraines inhibit so much.
So it seems to be a very careful life. Of careful movements. Of carefully going outside with a ride, so you don’t drive like that, with sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from the sun… knowing the pain will get worse because it always gets worse when you leave the controlled environment of the house. Carefully getting what must be done done and when the pain is worse coming home to relax. Not working because it becomes impossible to function. Barely able to manage chores, but carefully doing 5 or 10 minutes a day. Gently, carefully. Everything makes the pain worse, so after, rest. Rest, and know it will go down again soon… just have to get through the high pain. Gently, carefully exist. Not too much. Not too fast. Rest when the pain gets too high. No dancing. Just careful, gentle living. Or the pain will be very severe as punishment for doing anything at all More.