Imagine if we could see the emotional pain and scars represented on the skin of those around us. Festering, oozing, open sores on the skin of those still trapped in their pain and black and blue bruises covering the bodies of those beginning to heal. What about those with scars? Some may hide the scars, embarrassed by their pain and past struggle even though they had to be so very strong just to survive. Those with scars that show, uncovered in the sun, for all to see may be the strongest of all. These are the scars of people who were strong enough to survive, heal, and continue living despite their past. How different would we relate to people if we could see their internal pain? How different would we present ourselves if our past was visible on our skin?
This recent struggle is overwhelming and at times, unbearable. It feels like running a marathon and sensing the finish line is within reach, but suddenly being forced to run with two broken legs. It is the exhaustion setting in along with the absence of rest that weighs so heavily on the body and mind. There is no option to quit. There is no option for failure. I will crawl if I must, dragging these broken and bloody legs behind me to claim the prize – healing, rest and most of all, peace.
This is me today and all of last week with a non-stop migraine. I’ve been out of order but still trying to function. Every task requires so much more effort. I make so many mistakes which take even more time to go back and correct. The pain has subsided – for now, but I am thoroughly exhausted. My body feels heavy and weak. My brain feels like it is swimming in foggy oatmeal and my thoughts are slow and shallow. When I talk, many words are forgotten, slurred or mispronounced. I make no sense, and I recognize the look on my children’s faces. They are worried, scared and try to help me, all the while warning me not to do too much. “We don’t want your migraines to get any worse,” they say. It hurts. It sucks. It scares my children. This is the first time in many months a migraine has lasted more than a day or two. I’m desperate for the end of this episode.
Even the tail lights are too bright during a migraine. I try to avoid driving at night whenever possible because the headlights are painful and blinding. I wear special glasses that reduce the glare otherwise all I see is bright light drowning out everything else. The migraines only come a couple of days each week now, and I can manage that. There was a time when they came virtually every day and driving felt like torture. I’d keep a bowl or large plastic cup next to me because nausea, my migraines best friend, often resulted in vomiting – yes, while I was driving.
I only drove to take the kids to and from school and to see the doctor. I couldn’t drive alone at night because I had to close my eyes at stoplights and needed one of my kids to tell me when the light turned green. The tail lights from cars in front of me were too bright, and the headlights from cars on the other side of the intersection flashed in the dark when traffic moved by which exacerbated my feeling of nausea. It probably wasn’t safe for me to be driving, but there was no other option. Headlights hurt when shining in my eyes and they will never be my friend.
This is an incredible quote by Anne Frank. Despite all the misery, hate and sorrow in the word there is still abundant beauty. I can see it in the smiling faces of my children, and in the warm greeting, I get from the dog every, single time I come home. The trees still leaf out every spring, the grass greens up, and the flowers bloom. The wind blows and clears the air, and the snow covers everything in clean white crystals. The beauty is everywhere if we can lift the veil of misery to see it. It is a struggle, and the battle wages every day but the fight is worth it to see the beauty.