Most people aren’t fully transparent in this world, usually out of fear of being judged. Today I want to show you what being truly transparent looks like by sharing from the depths of my pain.
Many of you may not know what it’s like to walk around for years on end in severe chronic pain. In fact, you might even go about your ways, oblivious to those around you who may be suffering incredibly all the time like me. And even if you do know of someone’s suffering and try to understand, it’s very hard to, unless you’ve suffered in pain for a long time too. And sadly, when people don’t quite understand, it’s precisely when they begin judging, something I’ve been a recipient quite a bit of in recent years when it comes to my health.
Many have insinuated I relish in self-pity and like living in my pain. I don’t. The truth is that if I could have one wish, one prayer, one hope to come true, it would to be free of this burden once and for all. Regardless, I do my best to put a smile on my face each day, to keep my faith in God, and find some sort of solace in this never-ending sea of frustration over how I feel inside from the very moment I wake up every morning. As when you’re in constant pain like I am, the sky always seems gray and everyone feels like a million miles away. Especially God. I doubt God far too much now. Does that make me agnostic? This pain has really made me question the existence of God.
Have I done something wrong? What more can I do? Is God mad at me? Is God waiting on me to do something? Am I supposed to keep waiting on God? These are all questions I ask myself frequently now and if I hear one more person tell me in response to them that when God feels distant, it’s not God who’s moved, it’s me, I think I’m going to scream!
People have had so many suggestions on how I should be handling what I’m going through and I’ve tried so many of them to no avail, which has led me to accept that removing this is totally out of my control. Yet, my ego still desperately tries to find a solution and so do some of my friends. They google this or that online, hoping to understand and find an answer. I know they mean well, but when you’ve tried so many things with no success over the course of 11 years, you already know google and the world in general isn’t going to have the answer.
All of this has led to me feeling like I’ve been running a never-ending marathon; one in fact I don’t want to run anymore. It’s why painkillers often beckon my ego, painkillers like medical marijuana. For an addict like me, I just can’t go there. Because I know deep down where it’s going to eventually take me, because it’s taken me there before. Because anything I’ve ever taken over the years to numb my pain has never been enough to fully silence it. And each time I’ve gotten any bit of relief from any painkiller I’ve taken, I’ve always only wanted more of it, creating another vicious cycle of addiction.
The path I embarked upon many years ago now was to be free of living my life in this way. It was to stop numbing myself with one thing after another, including drugs, medications, people, and a number of other things as well. That’s why for as bad as this feels inside, I have chosen to not numb it with anything. Why God hasn’t freed me from this after all this time, I don’t know. People suggest that if God hasn’t healed me by now, He probably won’t. Others say it’s dumb to have faith in God instead of medicine. What they don’t understand is that the last time I placed my faith in medicine, I tried to kill myself. Because numbing myself with medicine felt like giving up to me.
I’m quite sure some of you reading this are probably shaking your head right now, thinking you know better than I do. Like I just need some anti-depressant or some other pill, and all will be well. There is no pill that is going to fix this and until you’ve walked a day in my shoes, you’ll never be able to understand that. Nevertheless, my mother once said I hadn’t kicked hard enough in this swim race I had finished last in, at the young age of 12. But you know what? I was kicking hard enough then and I’m still kicking hard enough now by doing my best to keep my faith in God and in this healing path I remain devoted to.
So, this is the real me, the truly transparent me. One that most rarely post about themselves on social media. While my present world doesn’t make sense to me anymore and I often feel invisible because of this sea of chronic pain inside me, I still believe in God and cling to my faith that He has a beautiful plan for me, in this life…even as my pain continues to scream at me, always trying to make me believe otherwise…always trying to make me give up…while I keeping praying that I don’t…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson