Today is day 12 of the WEGO Health writing challenge and it's stream of consciousness day. I don't really want to do this, mainly because I'm in so much pain that it's hard to write, but I am interested to see what this writing experiment will create, so here goes.
I've got an abcessed tooth and it is killer painful. My face is a little swollen, although fortunately barely noticeable. Monday I'm having a root canal and I'm not anxious about that at all, but am actually looking forward to it, because I want this tooth fixed! This really sucks. I have to take two of the pain killer pills for them to help the pain and they barely work at that. I was a little afraid to be prescribed the pain killers, because of my addictive tendencies, but as they're barely working, I'm really not worried about becoming addicted anymore-I just want the pain to stop! I'm sorry that I am complaining so much, but the pain is almost all I can think about. The awful part is that the infection has affected my fibromyalgia too by making me have a flare-up. My hips, legs, and feet hurt and while the pain isn't as bad as the pain in my teeth, it's enough to make me irritable and frustrated. I want to get back into my regular routine. So far, I've missed my DBT class, my volunteer job, an alumni group and aftercare. For the second week in a row-I missed these things last week, because of my vacation. Partly I hate missing meetings, because I am afraid of what people will think. I am afraid that people think I am not dependable or that I am flighty, and the truth is they would be partly right. But not because I have some awful character defect, but because my fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and my mental illnesses cause me to feel pain, extreme fatigue, and other things like anxiety that makes me miss things that I would rather not. A lot of people don't understand and if I say I am tired will urge me to push through it, but I've tried that and it doesn't always work. Sometimes when I push through, then the next day I am even worse. I am working on treating my body with more kindness and that is hard when society pushes us to push. Treating our body with kindness, especially when ill, is actually a DBT skill. One of the skills that I have learned in my class is to take care of any physical illness, so that I will not be prone to negatively acting out on my emotions. (DBT is all about regulating emotions and preventing potentially harmful, impulsive behaviors.) It helps me when I try to take care of my body to remind myself that I am practicing a coping skill that is therapist approved, because then I feel less guilty. It's sad that I should feel guilty for taking care of my body and that I care so much about what other people think, but it is something I am working on.
On the flip side, I am very grateful for my cat, who cuddled with me for hours today in my bed. Hearing him purr and feeling his soft fur gave me lots of comfort. I am thankful for a dad who offered to make me dinner and a mom who gives me a heat pack and her best medical advice without asking (she used to be a physical therapist). I am grateful for a sponsor who called me back and gave me some encouragement when I needed it. Basically, even though I am in pain, I am grateful for all the supportive people in my life right now and I am especially glad that although I am experiencing great physical pain, irritation, frustration, and fatigue, I am not depressed, anxious, or hallucinating. I would take physical pain any day over the pain of mental illness.