Saturday, December 13, 2008

collapse of the stoical front

Occasionally the stoical front collapses and tears catch one by surprise. That sudden inexplicable low, amidst the sundry serial and perpetual ailments that beset one, tips the balance. Is it the constant pain, the seemingly interminable incapacity, the sense of isolation resultant from that same invisible disability, or a more general existential angst? Perhaps it’s the combination, of all those things, that sets the tears flowing; for a while I teeter on the brink of self-pity and it proves a real struggle to regain my general positivity. [No sooner have the symptoms of a recent chronic bout of sleep disrupting sciatica receded than a case of TMJD (temporal mandibular joint dysfunction) takes pole position in the table of well-being assailants.]
I’ve always suspected that it’s much harder to witness and share the suffering of a loved one than it is to suffer oneself but, when one does suffer from any ailment, or dis-ease, the awareness that those who care for, and about you, somehow share your pain, intensifies the sense of spiritual suffering. The sufferer also feels guilty at imposing, on the one who loves and cares for them, some of the restrictions (on the socializing front) implicit in one’s own condition. I frequently find myself apologizing to my beloved for my, all too familiar, achingly fatigued condition, and the consequent wearyingly low stamina levels; it’s not that I blame myself for being ill but, to be honest, I’d prefer to be an enabler rather than a burden.

This posting is also on Mal's Murmurings.


Jim said...

I hear you brother, as my aches & pains seem to grow by the hour. Each day that I wake up with my abilities to walk and talk still intact is a blessing.

I've been snooping around here and enjoying your blog.

I love the photos, especially those of the garden, and your paintings are just plain beautiful.

Malcolm said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks for stopping by and, for your kind comments! Much appreciated. Malcolm