Addicted by Tami Boehle-Satterfield

"The measurements of the deflection angle of a beam of light just grazing the sun's surface are somewhat uncertain." oil painting by T. Boehle copyright 2007

I felt pain as I drove in.

You felt pain again, as you drove in.

Yes, it has been awhile.  I was surprised.  I thought everything was fine.  Yesterday was a good day.  I just, I don’t know.  I felt it.

You felt it.

Yea, I felt it. (irritated)  I felt it again.  All of a sudden, the tightening across the top of my chest and face squeezed, pinched in.  It was hard to breath. (excited)

It was hard to breath.

Yea, it was hard to breath. (more excited)  You know, I was panicking.  It was hard to breath. (pause)  It didn’t feel good.

It didn’t feel good. (sad)

It didn’t feel good.

No, it didn’t feel good. (resigned)  When is this going to stop? (pleading)  What is wrong with me? (excited)  I can’t take it. (panicked)  I can’t take it. (pause)  I cried. (distracted)

Is that okay?

Is it okay that I cried? (slightly irritated)

Yes, is it okay that you cried?

Well, no it is not okay, I was driving. (confused)  I mean, I guess it was okay.  The traffic was stopped, like it is in the morning. (preoccupied)  It is always so backed up. (further distracted) (pause)  I found an old tissue and dabbed my eyes. (calm)  Yea, I guess it was okay.

It just came out of nowhere.  And I thought, I can’t do this.  I can’t do it.  But I don’t even know really what it is I can’t do. (with realization)  Between the thoughts, I became aware of this.  I think, I was simply connecting with all the sadness.  You know, how can it change?  How can I make it different?  (thinking)

And then what happened?

I breathed. (revelation)  I breathed, like you said.  Like we practiced. (fast speech)  I think I might have breathed in between the thoughts.  I think maybe I did.

You think you breathed in between the thoughts?

Yes, I think I did. (satisfied) (pause)  I think I did and I think that is when I knew that it was okay.  You know, it was okay to feel. (revelation)  To FEEL.  It was okay to feel. (fast speech)  I think I breathed and then it shifted.  My feelings shifted to my thoughts and I thought, it is okay to feel sad. (excited)  And then, I reached inside the, the thing, you know the thing you rest your arm on. (impatient)

The arm rest.

Yea, the arm rest.  The console. (excited)  That is what it is called, the console box.  And there was this crumpled up tissue, but it seemed clean.  I thought that, you know, that it was clean.  That I could use it. (fast speech)  Isn’t it funny, that I was in pain and yet I thought about that.  I was able to reason.  Even in pain, I could shift my thoughts and reason. (curious)

You could shift your thoughts and reason.

Yea. (contemplating)

You could shift your thoughts and reason.

I could shift my thoughts and reason.  I could think. (slow speech)  I didn’t know I could think.  I mean when I am in pain, I didn’t know I could think.  I mean, of course I know I can think. (slightly irritated)  But I mean, I didn’t know I could figure something out.  Something else.  Something other than the pain. (distracted in curiosity)

You could stand the pain.

I could stand the pain. (revelation)  I could stand the pain.  It was pain.  It was pain and I was sad.  And I was sad about something that I didn’t even really know what it was.  I was sad about something and I felt pain.  The pain was a symptom.  It wasn’t the thing.

The pain was a symptom.

Yes, the pain was a symptom.  It was a messenger. (excited)  You, know.  It was.  It was.  It was a messenger. (loud speech)  It was alerting me to a thought I had that was sad. (realization)  I have thoughts. (pause)  I have thoughts and then I feel something. (excited)  Like after my accident, when I felt pain.  There was the unpleasant sensation. (realization)  So, first there was the unpleasant sensation and I called it pain.  And when I became aware of it, I felt it.  I felt pain.  That is what I thought, but really I feel it.  The unpleasant sensation and then I get scared and that fear is the pain.  I am afraid. (revelation)  I am afraid.  I get scared from the unpleasant sensation and I want it to stop because it feels bad.  I want bad things to stop.

You want bad things to stop.

Yes, I want bad things to stop. (determined)  I want bad things to stop. (excited)  I want bad things to stop because I want to live.  And I am afraid.

What are you afraid of?

I am afraid of dying.  I am afraid of dying. (very excited)  Isn’t that what it means to be in pain?  That I might not live. (fast speech)  Isn’t it self preservation to not want to feel the unpleasant sensation.  Isn’t that right? (pause)  Isn’t that right?

That’s it, isn’t it?  I am afraid of dying.  Ultimately, everyday I protect myself – preserve myself against that which will annihilate my existence.  Is that what I do everyday?  I am vigilant against the forces that will undermine my self-preservation. (satisfied) (pause)

But I must be confused? (confused)

You are confused?

Yes, I am confused.  I mean.  I am confused right now, but I mean I am confused.  I have misunderstood it.  I didn’t understand it. (pause) (realization)  I didn’t understand it.  I thought that it was the pain that threatened my existence.  It is not the pain.  The pain is the indicator.  The pain is the messenger, the teacher. (excited)  And what I do.  No, what we all do. (excited) (fast speech)  And of course, we all do it.  It is what we are told to do.  Take an aspirin.

You are told to take an aspirin?

Yes, we are all told to take an aspirin.  We are told pain is bad, but it is not bad. (fast speech)  It just is.  It is just pain.  If I deaden the pain how can I know what it is about and if I don’t know what it is all about how can I address it?  How can I change it?  How can I ever hope to know how I work, what my purpose is? (realization)  Pain can be useful. (insight)  It is not bad.  It can be helpful.  My pain can assist me in relieving my problem.  This is incredible. (shock)  I have been fighting an ally. I have been committed.  No I have been addicted.  Well, maybe I have been committed – you know condemned, restrained, restricted by my thinking one way.  And in that one way of thinking I became addicted to RELIEF OF PAIN. (slow speech)  It is all I saw.  It is all I did. (looking out the window)

You are looking out the window.

Yes, I have such a different perspective now.

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