In my photos you see me smile all the time – and that’s because I’m happy. I love being photographed, I like blogging, and I delight in the wonderful comments of my readers.
But being happy isn’t an easy thing. I am happy, yes, but it is in spite of a whole fuckton lot of things. Of those, three are the biggies, and they are depression, grief, and pain.
None of them are things you can see when you look at me, and see me smiling. But they’re all there, all the time.
Grief I have talked about before. Depression I never have, here. (Simply put, I take the pills and they do their job. I’ll likely be taking them the rest of my life.) I talk about pain occasionally. Mostly I don’t. But it’s there, every single day of my life.
After all, that’s what it means to have chronic pain, and that’s what I have.
My chronic pain is a migraine that transformed into a daily monster over six years ago, and crouches in my head. Because of it I work less (after not working at all, for a while), I sleep more, I carefully conserve my spoons, I don’t do all the social and friendly things I want to. I walk less. I (really!) write less.
It’s impacted every aspect of my life, from relationships and friendships through to finances, exercise, entertainment, self-adornment and self-respect. Every one of those could be a post in and of itself (but won’t be, today).
Because I also have to be careful when it comes to sex, play, and kink. Will having orgasms (with all the epic fluid-loss that entails) increase my pain? If I have this early morning romp with Apollo, will I be able to do chores in the afternoon? If I put Hylas into total enclosure rubber, will I be able to get him out quickly if he needs me to?
Often, I need to choose between having orgasms myself or giving my partner the pleasure. Often, it’s easier to go with mutual masturbation side-by-side than to expend the energy putting the tab A (be it hand, tongue or cock) into slot B. Often, a desire to wank ends with me falling asleep before ever getting my hand in my pants. And sometimes my libido takes a long stroll around the block while my system gets used to a new medication I take to help control the pain.
But for all of that, I am happy. My life has challenges, and I have one hell of a good time regardless. It is full of people I love who love me back, excellent shenanigans, relaxing evenings, and an understanding that I do what I can when I can. I take my meds, I don’t overdo it (much), and I live my life as best I can.
I’d nearly given up hope of ever being without the pain, though. Until I saw a different neurologist last week. There’s a chance of getting rid of the pain! A good chance – one with an 85% success rate. It’s going to be a challenging six-twelve months, but at the end I should no longer have that monster crouching in my head.
I almost don’t dare imagine how awesome that will be. But I want it, and I will work for it.
I live in pain. I am as happy as I can possibly be. But I deserve better – and I will get it. Just you wait and see.