I just came home from the physiotherapist. Wearing plastic gloves she stuck her fingers in my mouth to feel the pressure, to investigate if my bite can be the cause of constant headaches. At one point it was very painful, so I screamed out loud. I am not a person who screams out loud, I’m more a person who bites together and count to ten, or a hundred or how far it is necessary to overcome the impulse to scream ouch or no, or quit! At this moment, I was caught in the act. With a strange person’s fingers in my mouth, I could not bite the bullet. I had to reveal my pain.
I sometimes say that I am in pain, headaches, stomachaches, backaches. As an excuse that I am whining or need not be bothered or are looking for a reaffirmation of that it’s ok to take a pill. So that I clenched and manage things anyway. I do not like to take pills and prefer to avoid it. Except when I’m working. Then I must. Then I can not be whining and not the hurricane. Then I have to cope with, without complaining, but to show, to be able to deliver what I have undertaken.
I sometimes say that I find things a little hard. Tiresome as not to sleep, like worrying about the future, ailment not to like myself, ailment not to be what I think others expect me to be. Tiresome as to always take everything seriously. Tiresome as not to dry. When I work, I cannot be tiresome, then I bite together. There are so many who have it worse. I can not ask people to understand. I do not know how to express myself.
I go to the doctor sometimes. As now, after a year of mental taste in my mouth and headache. At the doctor, I am fairly good at describing my symptoms, listen to advice and tips (to the extent they exist) and be happy and glad to get to be listened to for a while. Usually I walk away without a response, or more diffuse reply that it is not something that is wrong – and if I get hurt again I will of course call. This time I received pain killer and psychotropics as well as a business card to a physiotherapist. I am not unique. Unfortunetly.
I’ll meet you here, including comments and emails. I’ll meet you at work or at friends. I get a text from you because you can not manage to be meet real life. I read about you in the newspaper and hear stories about you on the radio. Sometimes I hear about the worst. I see that you pull yourself away, you do not want to show that you have are tiresome or annoying. I am ashamed, and you are ashamed.
My experience is that pain is something we choose not to talk about and instead just push forward. My experience is that it is shameful to talk about it. Is it because people get uncomfortable? Is it because we lack knowledge? I have a need to talk about pain, physical as well as mental, but I do not know how to start?
I and Anna, who makes the illustrations for the Invite Me To My Own Words, think about pain. We will have it as a recurring theme in this blog and would like to know which thoughts, questions and experiences you have. Together, we want to invite you into a conversation about pain and how we talk and not talk about it. Write a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until then I do the exercises, I got the physiotherapist and take my pills when the alarm on the phone says doing, doing. I’m trying to find a relaxed mode of the jaw.