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Chronic Pain: The Invisible Friend That Haunts Me

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I have an invisible friend, well, more of a companion. I call her a companion because she is not my friend. She is cunning, manipulative and mean. She knows no one can see her, she hurts me all the time and gets away with it. She slaps me in the face leaving a burning sensation, she pounds my back with her invisible hammer, she stomps on my feet until they feel broken even though they’re not. She doesn’t even leave scars.

No one can seem to save me from her because they don’t know how or why she’s there, they don’t understand her and her tactics, they don’t know how to get rid of her. I’m never alone. I never get a moment just to breathe. She’s always there in some way. She’s there when I cry myself to sleep at night begging God to take her away from me or to just give me a break. But if He’s there, He doesn’t, and she just laughs and continues torturing me, taunting me, telling me she will never leave me.

Sometimes people don’t even believe that she’s there; it makes her stronger, gives her a bigger hold on me because it’s so hard to believe something is real when no one else does when you can’t see it and can only feel it. Is she really there? And it’s those moments when she reminds me just how strong she is when she attacks me, beats me up, with no one to see her, reassuring me that I’m not “crazy,” but she can make everyone think I am. This makes me feel “crazy.” How can something that no one sees or understands be so strong? How can she exist? I don’t know. Even the experts don’t know.

person standing outside smiling wearing a hat and sunglasses
When you see Mo on any given day you would have no clue that they are haunted by this invisible friend.

She opposes everything I do. If I walk she pushes me the other way, if I’m trying to sleep she keeps slapping me awake, if I try to write she’ll smash my hand until I can’t, if I’m trying to get out of bed she will sit on me and pull the weight of the world with her. She’s not logical; she just wants to be destructive. Doing any mundane task is a war against her. I’m just so tired of fighting. I’m so tired of never being truly alone, but simultaneously always feeling alone because she isolates me and makes me different. I’m tired of the pain. I’m tired of no one believing me, or even if they do, no one being able to understand. I’m tired of feeling so heavy; humans are not supposed to carry another person’s burdens, but I live for two people – she is my burden and I carry hers.

She’s kind of like an evil Batman. She has her invisible utility belt, ready for every possible situation. She has a blowtorch and sets me on fire all the time. She’s invisible and completely untraceable. She leaves her marks, except they are not batarangs or the bat signal, they are my red, blue and purple limbs and ice cold skin. She is made of darkness that engulfs me, depresses me and slowly breaks me.

I hate my invisible friend. I want her to go away. But I don’t know who I am without her.

Originally published: March 8, 2018
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