Hello Pain, my old friend

by Oceania

Hello Pain, my old friend
I see that we’re here again
Guardians of the night
As the world softly sleeps
We’ve come to know each other well over the years
I sit back now and remember the nights that I fought you
Kicked and screamed and refused to accept you as friend
You were my enemy in those days
One to fight in any way that I possibly could
I tried everything
I ignored you, you just became more insistent
I medicated you; you changed the type of pain and became more resistant
It was only when I took the time to get to know you
That I realised that you are, indeed, my friend
In the darkness of the night
Together we watch over the world
We surf the hurt together
Sometimes I’m curled up on the floor screaming in agony
You’re there right by my side
Other times it’s a roller coaster ride of nausea and dizziness, just hold on tight
Tonight you brought me cobwebs
What a fabulous gift
Tendrils of pain intricately wrapping themselves around my legs and feet
If I can tolerate this pain then a real spider's web no longer holds fear
Too easy? You say…. You bring back my archenemy
The one that I still fight to befriend
My spine aches. Every movement hurts.
On a pain scale of 1 to 10, this is 12
The doctors don’t understand that the scales aren’t nuanced enough
They don’t live in our world
Today my hands ache
Pain levels 4
Impact on my life – 10
So it’s 4 in the morning and you, and I, old friend
Are sitting together in companionship negotiating a treaty
If I give my hands some heat, will you lay off my back a little more?
But will you stop? Rest? Listen to me? You cry
I promise that I will, I vow
Through these nights, over many years, you see pain and I have indeed become friends
I’ve learned that she is not my enemy, out to get me, and bring me down
Her role is quite different
She sets boundaries to keep me safe
She reminds me to be gentle with myself
She brings me to my knees when I refuse
In time I’ve learned to negotiate
She’s a willing accomplice, for somehow I always come out the loser
It’s an art, this game we play, of thrust and parry
One stiff hand in return for an hour of warm water soaks
But I don’t have the time I cry
No soaks, no hands for me today is her reply

She wins

Tomorrow I will make the time
We sit together now in solitude
As one, at peace with each other
We have long since established our roles
Hers is to remind me, to discipline me, to keep me safe
Mine to listen, to not push too far, act too fast
Over the years we’ve developed our dance
Spinning around and around in each other's arms as the world sleeps
Hello pain, my old friend, let’s dance again!