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I suffer from four different spinal conditions (including arthritis in my back, hips and legs), and have had two back surgeries. The debilitating pain has caused me to also struggle with depression and anger (which, if left alone, warps into bitterness over the years). For those who can’t relate to what I call my “prison of pain,” I once explained it this way: “Persistent physical torment automatically puts my spirit–that is, my attitude, emotions and mood–under some type of dark cloud. My pain affects everything; it makes a ‘normal’ problem look incredibly difficult, and makes the difficult look IMPOSSIBLE. When you’re in pain nearly all over your body (and then top it with the headaches I’ve been experiencing), it automatically puts you about 40% behind everyone else, so that, when faced with trials others would handle easily, it sets us back even further. For example, let’s assign a number to our burdens and say I’m already carrying a 75-pound weight, and someone hands me another 30-pound problem. Well, for the person who’s not carrying anything, 30 pounds is a bit of a challenge but totally doable, but if I’m already carrying 75 pounds, another 30 pounds feels stressful and huge and strenuous. What bleeds through is anxiety, fatigue and self-doubt. Sometimes even self-loathing. THAT’S how it is for people who live in chronic pain.”

The way I figure it, one can get bogged down in the hell that is “chronic pain,” or one can figure out a way to cope. A good friend of mine, and a twice-published author, suggested I start a blog to express not only my creative self (I have a trademarked title, Demonkill, and I have started writing my first novel), but what it’s like to try and live with exhausting and disabling physical and emotional misery. Some may be offended by my Christianity, while others will be put off by my affinity for heavy metal music. There will even be a few who wrinkle their snouts at my general “odd” nature, but I feel many more will be able to relate. If these musings can help even one person, the effort would have been worth it.

So grab your favorite Impending Doom CD, turn the lights down and enjoy the ride. Haven’t the foggiest notion where we’re going, but it’ll sure be a hoot getting there.


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