You hold it together, until you can’t.

Days go by and I endure the pain. The ache. The agony.

Silently. Restrained. Reticent.

The torment, like fire, licks at my flesh and bones, wounding my psyche more with each passing minute.

But I abstain from unloading my burden onto others or even myself.

Instead, I move along. Advance. Survive.

Elbowing the misery to the corners of my mind,

To live. To support. To mother.

Until

The crushing weight of suffering spills over the break wall of tenacity.

The wounds are too vast. The load is too heavy.

My body and spirit crack under the pressure,

Releasing unbridled sobs of suppressed sorrow, pain, and anguish.

Weeping persists as my brain releases turmoil like a release valve on a pressure cooker.

Slowly, the grieving of the past’s abuses recedes,

Sadly, only for it all to begin once again.

15 thoughts on “You hold it together, until you can’t.

  1. This is so powerful. Your words are loaded and full of imagery. Your words, “Elbowing the misery to the corners of my mind,” resonate – that’s what strong women do… we often push things off and away until it is too much to bear. Hoping that writing this gave you some peace.

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  2. This line jumps off the page as you describe the moment where it all becomes too much: “The crushing weight of suffering spills over the break wall of tenacity.” Wow. So so sorry that you are enduring pain like this.

    I had a few months of terrible back pain a couple of years ago, and I remember thinking about how much empathy I gained for those who live years or a lifetime with chronic pain. It can be unbearable. Mobility without pain is something so many take for granted. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. When I clicked the link I anticipated reading about physical pain. It’s there in your ethereal language. Yet there’s so much more; the emotional weight you carry, your words capturing both physical pain and mental anguish. Both speak to my heart today.

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  4. This is powerful. You did a wonderful job using your language to make a deep emotional connection that goes so much deeper than physical pain. Please take time for yourself. It might not feel okay to breakdown in the moment, but sometimes there is just something cathartic about breaking down.

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  5. To carry so much pain for so long in unfathomable to me. Sometimes you just need to give into it and scream at the world before moving on. I am sorry you need to endure this and have for so long. It is bound to take an emotional toll.

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    1. I definitely do my share of screaming at the world. After 25 years (and it getting worse over time), you have to. It definitely has taken a toll. It started so young that it certainly shaped who I am. I often wondered what I’d be like had I not had my formative teenage years be weighed down by pain.

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  6. My husband has been struggling with chronic pain, and I feel like reading this slice gives me insight into what he’s dealing with and how it must feel to him. These lines feel like they probably describe his thinking: “I abstain from unloading my burden onto others or even myself./Instead, I move along/Advance. Survive./Elbowing the misery to the corners of my mind,/To live. To support.” Thank you for helping me know him better and giving me a window into this experience.

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    1. It is impossible to know what it’s like unless you’ve experienced it. But I’m glad I could give you a taste of what he might be feeling. Of course, though, everyone’s experience with pain is different and personal.

      Can I ask what kind of pain he is suffering from? I have chronic back pain, fibromyalgia (which could be the cause got my chronic tailbone and knee pain as well as other wandering pains), and chronic migraines.

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  7. This is heart wrenching. Words seem to fail me here-I am not sure how to respond to such a magnitude of suffering. I marvel at your fortitude and agonize over your suffering. I hope that sharing it helps you. I will pray for a miracle to relieve you from your torment. Your slice is profoundly moving-beyond an adequate response in my mind.Peace to you is my hope.

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  8. What beautiful lines to express so much pain. I really like the tension you build in your slice and then the release of all the suffering. As a reader, I can feel how unbearable this is for you. As a reader, I’m moved, wanting to reach out and take it away.

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  9. Oh Natalie, you have eloquently expressed what all chronic pain patients experience. It is this never ending loop. I hope putting down into words has released some of the burden.
    Sending you gentle hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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