I wrote this post quite a while ago. It’s been sitting in my drafts folder ever since…
With physical pain, I am an animal.
You’ve seen this image before. You may not even know where, but it’s there, in the back of your mind. A dog, convulsing in agony, frenzied, pleading eyes rolled back, filled with the most basic elements of deep pain, and a desperate need for relief. Clawing. Snapping. Tearing at the hands that attempt to comfort them.
This is me.
My nan had to euthanize her dog not long ago. Her baby, her best mate. A friendly, fat and pleasant dog, who reminded me of a chubby toddler, full of bounce and eager to please.
He didn’t snap. Didn’t lash out. Not once. Not even when the cancer honeycombed his tiny hip bone, causing it to snap as my grandmother gently lifted him off the bed. He yelped, winced in pain, but did not sink his teeth into her flesh.
It was simply not in his nature; placid creature that he was.
Pain, it causes my facade to crack and crumble, to rot on it’s disciplined foundations. It shows the true landscape of my soul. I am not happy, not funny or kind, there is no optimism in me.
I am that first dog.
The rabid one.
Biting the hands that feeds me.
It’s not pretty.
Reeling, biting, gasping, contorting in pain. Yelling, snapping, behaving explicitly savage toward those who attempt to bring me comfort.
A lesson in empathy. A test of strength. The litmus test for future trials of the psychical nature, of a body that heals slowly and is aging quickly. A warning that I may need to be stronger than this, both physically and in character, to brace for future darkness.
Physical pain, it brings out the worst in me.