I was very moved when I received this heartwrenching piece of writing from a client…she asked me to share it so that others who are hurting might be touched by it too. It’s a painful piece to read so just wanted to give a “trigger” alert for those who might get triggered…feel free to comment or add your thoughts:
I’m feeling this toenail dig into my second toe. I’m walking, walking, it’s agony every step. It hurts, tis going deeper. Just continue, I’m a strong kid. I can endure pain, just go on. It hurts down inside my shoe, but no one can see it. Not even me. Don’t take my shoe off. It might be bloody in there. Killing by now. But I’m fine, because I’m functioning, right? My shoes are actually really pretty by the way. Distress tolerance and all, I can DO this.
It’s months. (years?) It’s been a death march. I reach my breaking point. I collapse on the hard stone. What’s it look like in there? I’m afraid but I’m hollering in pain that I just kick that shoe off. It’s messy. Bloody. Dirty. Full of pus, infected. Contorted, raw. The sight scares me, makes the pain exponentially worse.
“Go to the doc.” “You can heal.” “You’ll feel better.” “Meds do work.” “Trust me, it’ll be different now.”
OH MY LIVING GOD! Don’t you guys get it?! I can’t take another step on this foot, let alone reach the doctor’s office. I can’t, I’m done! This is hell, it’s shooting pain straight up spreading through my entire being. SSSTTTOP! You’re touching it OWW! You think patting it will soothe it? It’s raw and open right now, just leave my foot alone.
I’m alone crying bitterly on the pavement. I can’t believe how being strong for so long made me so weak. I can’t fathom how enduring and tolerating distress until now just hurt me and made it all worse. Oh, I should have had a lower tolerance level back then and taken my shoe off in the beginning. Right now this traumatizing realization is making me have absolutely zero tolerance. Zero. Literally any bit of contact with the infection is making me holler. I’m crying more than ever these days.
I have a solution, but that’s the problem. Going to the big doc is out of the question, I can’t walk. I can’t even get up. Besides, it’s unbearable to imagine him clearing this stuff out. My solution? Amputate the leg! But no doc wud do that for me! I’m praying and praying to wake up tomorrow without my left leg, but God won’t do it. Just wont. I know I’m fantasizing. I then lift a knife to my ankle and they all scream “Don’t do it! It’ll be bloodier.” I know it will. But. ANYTHING to make it go away. And if God won’t disappear it, I just may be desperate enough.
Think for a moment what it’s like if it’s not the leg, but both the brain and the heart that are aching, exhausted, done, used. BURNT OUT. Pushed too far, made it worse.
Yum, imagine no brain activity, no pulse, no heart rate.
All peace, bliss. Ah
ANYTHING to make it go away.
P.S. It’s my belief that helping my clients express their pain makes them feel less suicidal, not more…sometimes it can be hard for us to hear how desperate people feel to “end it all” but holding their pain helps let the pus out, a little bit at a time…until it doesn’t hurt as much anymore.