How do you accurately convey the ever-changing blend of, "I'm optimistic, I'm a fighter, I'm a warrior, and I'm not going to let circumstances out of my control get me down" and "I'm really tired of this and wish I didn't have this fight to fight anymore"?

Hurting today, from the moment I woke up. I'm not surprised, given that I was in the Urgent Care/ER for the better part of Thursday night and the wee hours of Friday morning for uncontrollable full body tremors/spasms. They think it was a rare reaction to the gabapentin, but don't really know. All I know is that they pumped me full of Valium (twice!) and I spent the next 24 hours drugged and woozy. My muscles are sore from the hours of tensing and spasming (and where they stabbed me with those super painful needles), but that's better today. It was just a weird, weird experience. I thought I'd up and gotten MS or something. I wasn't scared, but I was apprehensive... and all I could do was crack jokes at any and every opportunity. I'm not sure C appreciated that one much. It was hard for me to know how to relate to him, because he was... well... not worried, per se, because it was clear that whatever was happening was not life-threatening or injuring me in any way... but he was definitely concerned. Pacing. Watching me. Holding me and stroking my hair, my back, my hands, making sure I didn't shake right off of the chair or bed when the spasms would get particularly violent. Holding me up so I could "walk" to the various rooms/clinics/etc. Carrying me into the emergency rooms in his arms (and scaring the nurses because they thought I was seizing!! LOL) He sat there with me the whole night, solid as a rock. It was a comfort to have him nearby, especially when I finally slipped into sleep in the wee hours of the morning.

In any event, the rheum told me the other day to try the tramadol again for a few weeks since the Ty3 makes me sick, which is basically a "death sentence" for any kind of hope for relief from pain. I took 3 at one time last night, as well as two individual hot soaks, trying to get the pain down to an "I can sleep now" level (because I was still soooooooo tired!), but it took a really long time, some extra stretches, and my Yoga Pandora station to finally get me drifted off to sleep. It never did knock down the pain, really. Once I was out, though, I was out.

While I'm bummed that I missed C's only day off for a while by being completely loopy and woozy, the day before was actually a nice day. I was not feeling well, so I asked M if he would drive me around to get my errands done. He came by to be my chauffeur, and we had a grand old time. I enjoy conversing with him, and we have a lot in common, I think. We both love music, although he is much more accomplished and intelligent than I am in that area, but I think I'm gleaning things from him about music theory which I'm grateful for. We even ended up at Goodwill, and he threw some money at me in the form of buying me some well-loved books I stumbled across. I was guilty-grateful for that. (Yes, still with the same guilt issues that come from being there when people spend money on me. I firmly believe that it's got its roots in some self-worth issue somewhere, but I don't have the energy to try to root that one out right now. I'm tired.) I think I told him several times, though, that I just plain had fun. I haven't gotten out of the house to do anything with friends for a while now, and it was really just enjoyable. I felt almost normal for a while there!

It wasn't until both M's had cleared out that evening and I wandered off to bed that I began having the full-fledged full-body tremors, though I had been extremely fatigued that entire day. I just don't know what's what and related to what anymore. Who cares? I just know that I'm really tired today, I'm hurtin' like a big, pulsing, electrified bruise, but I'm also strangely optimistic.

Yes, I'm tired of dealing with the pain and such, but something that M told me while we were discussing it gave me a lot of hope. We were discussing how, on the whole, I have made steps forward in regards to dropping pain levels. (I have! I have! When you look at it over the span of months and months, I can see myself inching forward!) Yet, at the same time... I am oddly fearful of "getting better". I know that with the autoimmune stuff and with something chronic like this, I'll never be totally free. I won't. And while that's comforting because it lets me know that I wasn't just malingering for a season of my life and exploiting those around me, on the other hand it's kind of depressing. I still struggle with that black and white mentality so much, though, that it's either I'm "sick" or I'm "better". So if I get "better", then I was never really "sick", now was I? I mean, I could have gotten better at any time I chose, right? So it was my fault, then wasn't it? But if I never get better, then that validates the understanding that it's not my fault, that I'm not choosing this, and that I am trying my best, really.

I didn't articulate all of that, but touched on a few things briefly. Anyway, he pointed out that when I'm better I'm still just going to go out and help other people who are struggling and fighting in the way that I am now, and I'm still going to be kicking ass, so why worry about it? It made me think of the HJ, the work I'm doing now... how being in a better place, being in an awesome healthy relationship, doesn't mean that I was never abused. Hah! Right. That's laughable. But I can turn around and help others who have gone through similar things the best that I know how. I guess it's the same.

So while I'm whimpering and licking my wounds and thinking "good grief this sucks, I'm so grateful for pain killers!", I'm also thinking... "You know? I'm pretty badass, especially on tough days like today. It's so easy to be happy when you're not hurting. It's days like today that remind me I'm a warrior."

I hope I can remember that throughout the rest of the day. The morning is young, yet, after all...

And yes, I know you're reading this. So thanks, M. You were more of an encouragement than you knew.

Note: I learned another step in a valuable lesson yesterday, too. I can ask for help, and people will respond and help me. And it is not an imposition or a burden. If it were, they would say no. How do I know this? Because I am careful to surround myself with healthy people, or ones that are trying their damndest to be healthy and whole... and that means that our friendships and relationships are also healthy. And that means no manipulation on either side. And that means that asking for help? It's really just asking for help. And the help that is given is given freely, because we're friends.

Now that's a cool place to live.

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