When I have a throbbing headache, I forget what it’s like to not have one.
My skull is tightening. My cranial tectonic plates are moving and trammeling my head. Every light source hurts my eyes and I wonder if things have always been this bright. Have they always been this shiny? Have they always been this potent? The light is no longer something outside of my body, but a part of me because it reaches through my eyes and into the back of my head. The pain intensifies. Text is blurry and it becomes a chore to simply look across the table. I have an intense desire to close my eyes and put my head down on my desk; that strong pull just to let my eyelids sink, let me sink, to give in, just let me sleep!
I forget what it’s like to be without a headache, without 9/11, without your two cents worth, without the scrutinous science of people, without this cloud hanging above all our heads, and without this fear of not being enough if you don’t say I am.
Sitting in the conference room thinking about what to do about my headache, I didn’t want to go get aspirin because I had lost faith in the fact that there was an escape from it, that something outside of the pain existed.
If I can lose sight of an aspect of life with something small and insignificant like a headache, how often do I do elsewhere in my life?
How often do I not talk it out because I think nothing but a parade of elephants will always be walking through the room? How often do I lock you out of my life because I am afraid you won’t be who you say you are? How often do I not confront you because I believe conflict will always reside here? How many times do I not go down the hall to get aspirin because I think that nothing else exists?
I cannot continue to live my life in this room. If I do, I will always be on the wrong end of the hall. I will always be quietly floating in a puddle of what-ifs and imagined pain, wondering if things have always been this bright.