In October of 2011, I was in a terrible car accident that almost killed me. I was at a dead stop on the highway and a driver in a work van was not paying attention and struck me at full speed – probably close to 75 miles per hour.
I was physically broken by that accident. Emergency responders had to cut the door off of my car to get me out. I was concussed, suffered a minor skull fracture, a fractured clavicle, three fractured ribs, an avulsion fracture of my cervical spine, and countless soft tissue injuries, the scar tissue from which still causes me pain today, almost every day.
I can still count the number of pain-free days that I have had since October 2011 on two hands.
But I don’t have to be pain free to function, and I’ve developed a staggering tolerance for pain.
Recently I was in a conflict where I broke my jaw (hence the photo in my entry from earlier this month) and I walked around with a broken jaw for more than a week before I realized that it was broken. Sure, it hurt, but nothing more than I go through almost every day.
Physical pain and I have been traveling companions for a long time now.
I am only now beginning to realize that emotional pain and I have been traveling companions for most of my life.
Just in the past two years, I’ve been working hard to peel back the layers of my mind and access the deep hurt that has been buried there. I have developed emotional scars as well, and where I have learned to tune out the physical pain and walk on in the past 5 years since my car accident, I had also developed ways to tune out the emotional pain, I just didn’t realize it.
This is where things start to cycle back on themselves, and I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s helping me to function again, so I’m just going to live with it for now and examine the consequences later.
I can’t take my anxiety medication right now because of my closed jaw. The capsules cannot be broken and there is no liquid variant available, so my psychiatrist gave me a different liquid medication instead. It doesn’t really work for me, so I’ve just stopped taking the meds altogether.
This is dangerous, I know.
This is probably not the right way to go about things, I know.
But those wonderful drugs that opened my viewpoint to allow me to experience more of the emotional spectrum and to be more emotionally available to my partner.. they appear to be a crutch, and it’s possible that my already developed and natural coping mechanisms – while not ideal, perhaps – may actually be more effective in letting me live a somewhat normal life than the drugs have been.
I took them, and I went to counseling, all in an effort to save my relationship and fight for the one that I love. But my counselor betrayed me and my girlfriend left me and now I’m physically broken again, emotionally vulnerable, and heartbroken in a way that I have never been before. I rarely leave the house, and there are days when I do not speak to anyone. Not one word.
But you know what – despite that.. despite the depressing canvas that I’m creating upon, despite the lack of medications, the lack of contact, the isolation from my family, the lack of any available friends, the severing of the best and worst relationship that I have ever had… despite all of this – I’m getting better.
I’m hardening again, and that may ultimately not be a good thing, but the funny thing is that I’m finding that the further I hold the world at bay, the easier it is to deal with.
I’ve cocooned the pain away, and it becomes easier and easier to deal with every day.
I was fighting hard for something that was probably hurting me more than helping.
The fight is over for now, and I have to find a new way to move forward in the world. Oddly enough, pushing away the pain has led me to be more present and patient. Or maybe it’s the lack of drugs that has restored my patient nature… either way, the fight is over, and I’m finding new ways to deal with the pain.
I am strong like the Oak. Pretending to be a willow does not suit me.