It was supposed to be a mark of how well I'm doing, how much things have improved. It was meant to be the first thing I did off my list of post-pain goals. Going to see him was on the list, then I started researching some of things on the list, so I had them right there. But it turned out he was coming to town before I was ready - should I leave it and wait however-long for his next tour, or book it in the hope I'd be better by then?
So I booked it. I thought if I booked it now, I could force myself into being better. That I could somehow make the reality fit the fantasy, just by setting it up that way. That if I made everything else look like my dream, the pain would have no choice but to comply.
It didn't work. The show was good, he was very funny, but I'd been in pain all day, I had to wear the big sling and take a cushion for the bad seats. I was in the way of all the people wanting to squeeze past, but I couldn't stand up, so they had to go around. Unfortunately, all the laughing aggravated the pain, so I had to take a lot of pills there, I was in agony driving home and I've had to take another 60mg since.
But worse than that, is the way I feel now. I was really scared beforehand about the driving, the parking, the walking from the car. I was scared of being attacked on the way back afterwards. Yet I'm the one who used to regularly jet off abroad on my own. I went wandering around Mexico by myself. And there I was scared to go into town.
My friends said going to the show would be good for me, that it would give me a sense of achievement. It didn't. All I feel is incredibly lonely that all these years later, I'm still going to these things alone. And I feel empty, blank. Dead inside.
I cheated, by doing something off the post-pain list before the pain was gone. And I'm being punished for it. I I feel like things are never going to get properly better - that I'm never going to get back to the life I had before the accident. That the best I can hope for is a return to how things were before I was off sick for a whole year.
I don't want to go back to that life. I want my real life back. I want the life where I go jetting off abroad at the drop of a hat. Where I constantly do things that are scary - like deciding to start over in a new town, living abroad, trying out extreme sports. I want to be that me again, but the pain won't let me.
If the only improvement I can have is to go back to being the person in the room everyone had to look out for, the one needing special attention and special consideration, I don't want it. I'd rather be dead than go back to that half a life. And I'd rather be dead than carry on the phantom life that came that came afterwards.
If I can't have a whole, real, proper life - one where I get to be a full, functioning member of society - then I'm done.
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