The Demons I Fight When I Try to Sleep With Chronic Pain


I can talk until I’m blue in the face about how I feel, but to no one really understands unless they’ve been there themselves. I can tell you that I don’t sleep without waking every several hours to throbbing pain and nausea. So sick, but unable to get up for meds or to get to the bathroom. Again, you have to have lived it to really get it. About how I feel so alone in these dark, pre-dawn hours when most of the world is asleep, but I’m sitting here. Alone and scared and in pain. Just a prisoner of my own thoughts. Dark thoughts of never-ending pain, lost friends and family that ducked out years ago without saying a word. They couldn’t handle my illness, my demons. Well, neither can I! But I have no escape. They are with me 24/7. Permeating my brain with thoughts of sadness, loss, memories, impossible dreams, false hopes. They taunt me with what once was, and laugh at what I can no longer have.

I tamp them down, deep down. I think positive thoughts. I concentrate on what I can do and what I am doing. I meditate, I do my breathing exercises, I visualize where I want to be and what I will do one day. Eventually, most nights, I feel a peace come over me. A calmness. The pain recedes to a more tolerable level. I can breathe again and possibly fall asleep.

My demons remain, but they are not as loud. They’re muffled, but not silenced. They slink further back into the recesses of my brain, but sporadic stabbing, throbbing pains in my head remind me that they are still there. They won’t let me forget. They don’t sleep. If you look closely, you can see them in my eyes. The pain-filled features on my face, that’s them. The flinching, ducking, covering my eyes from the light, that’s them. The cringing and jumping from loud noises; them. But for now, for this period of time, however brief, my positivity temporarily overpowers their negativity. I’ve won! For now. It’s a small victory, but still a victory.

It’s a daily battle. I’m fighting good (me) versus evil (them) every single day. I’m a superhero of sorts. I am a chronic pain warrior! And I will win this fight! Carry on, fellow warriors! Carry on and always keep fighting!

Follow this journey on The Road So Far.

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