I Got 99 Problems

… of which insomnia is one. That’s a new development. Got to hand it to my body, it is the master of surprise and black humour. I did a bit of soul-searching yesterday (who am I kidding, it was 4 o’clock this morning, when I had yet to fall asleep), and I think I realised that the reason behind my insomnia is psychological. Ultimately, I am afraid of lying in bed waiting to go to sleep. I am afraid of feeling any more than I need to. So I try to read and tire myself out until I can’t keep my eyes open. And alas, my stamina for reading seems to be fairly hardy (thanks, Cambridge…) so it’s taking hours’ worth of words to tire me out. That, plus the fact that my body clock has become conditioned to this erratic cycle.

Chronic pain is brutal in its complete and utter uselessness, and it makes you feel useless too

Ideally, what I’d really like is to go for a lovely long autumnal walk, preferably with an audiobook or magical album (like ‘YES!’ by Jason Mraz, which is basically medicine) in my ears, and a gloved hand holding mine. Crunching in bronzed leaves, watching the metallic splashes as my boot hits November puddles, then returning to a house filled with scented candles and comfortable blankets. Doesn’t that sound lovely? However, there is a snag: walking hurts. As of about a year ago, even minimal walking has begun to trigger flares I would normally have attributed to over-exertion. This has left me extremely disinclined to get out and about, even though psychologically it would do me the power of good.

crunch crunch crunch

My alternative? Go for a trip in my imagination. Write. Blog. Pen a song. In fact, usually when I am feeling this bad, my feelings flow out best as music. Perhaps I might have to sit down at the keyboard and see what my heart wants to shout. At least that way, my pain feels like it has some kind of purpose. Usually people are less conflicted about suffering if they know it will bring about good. Even acute pain – you know why it’s there: it’s the body saying, ‘Ouch, don’t do that again!’ or ‘Right, don’t move this bit, I’m trying to fix it.’ Chronic pain is brutal in its complete and utter uselessness, and it makes you feel useless too.

WHERE ARE THE DAYS when my only problem was that I realised halfway to a sleepover that I had left my stuffed penguin at home, and Mum had to drive back to get it and bring it to my friend’s house? WHERE HAVE THOSE DAYS GONE?

Don't worry, I got him eventually.

Then you read about all the terrors going on in the world and everything just seems more pointless. I’m fighting to participate and stay in a world where precious innocent people get shot at concerts or bombed in the street. The whole world needs covering in prayer, and my stupid chronic pain keeps me focused on the one body I have been given, and how limited I am because of it. My prayers revolve around asking for strength to get through a normal day like water circling down a drain, when they should be asking how I can help alleviate the suffering that seems to abound more than ever. Some days I just get overwhelmed by how CRAP this world is. And yet, if there weren’t people realising this world is so far from what it could and should be, people who dedicate their lives to applying balm to that distress, where would we be? Trouble is, I’m not a doctor. I’m not a counsellor. I’m not a charity worker. Heck, I’m not an anything-worker at the moment. My dream is to write healing books, because that’s the only thing I think I could do that could make a difference. Yet I’m behind on my word count of my novel because I’m in so much sodding pain. (I know I’m blogging but this is really just stream-of-consciousness, isn’t it?!).

I have to keep holding on to the love of my family and the hope of my Saviour. Beyond Him, I do not know what peace there is to be had. Even with Him, peace is rare and struggles are rife. I have to continue to trust this all has purpose (whether it is objectively true or not – at least this way I will invite my mind to infer purpose of its own).

Hang on in there.

All my love and spoons,

Ros x

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