Life is Really, Really, Really Long When You’re in Pain

I have been on a Dateline binge the past couple of weeks and have come to believe two things. 1) everyone is waiting to murder you at any moment for anything and 2) all murder victims “loved life” and “lit up a room”. Not many people described as miserable or mean are getting whacked. Odds aren’t in favor of the sunny and perky, I guess.

Then I started to wonder what they’d say about me if I croaked.

“She watched a lot of Netflix and Oprah”

“All of her Pinterest boards were about food and she never even cooked”

“She flipped people off quite a bit”

“She said ‘life is long’ frequently and hated saying ‘good morning’”

How about “She had a headache every day, but never assaulted anyone or offed herself?”

I think that’s noteworthy.

I have had a headache of some degree every day for about the last 20 years. And I have concluded that no matter how much Oprah I watch or how wisely I can wax on about the universe, life and I aren’t gonna be friends as long as I have this chronic pain.

Tired, frustrated and hopeless, I will take to my bed for days at a time. I pray for sleep to come so I can have a few hours of relief. But as soon as I wake up, the pain screams, “Hello! Yep, I’m still here! Where else would I be?”

I watch a lot of Netflix and TV because it’s an escape that distracts me from the pain. It gives me a hiatus from thinking about how to fix my faulty noggin.

I pin a lot of recipes because I like the idea of cooking. I aspire to cook wonderfully healthy dishes. But then reality sets in and I realize that my priorities are less like:

  1. Meditate upon awakening
  2. Write in my gratitude journal
  3. Spread sunshine wherever I go
  4. Fix a delicious meal for Hannah and I
  5. Exercise
  6. Wind down with a great book

And more like:

  1. Survive
  2. Don’t kill anyone

(Dateline interviewer: Did you ever hear her talk of killing someone? Friend: Only in her blog.)


In lieu of getting physical, I flip people off, mostly behind their backs. Because people are annoying. I’m annoying. You’re annoying. And we all just deal with it. But add a daily headache to the mix and the rage can build up. Hot boyfriend lets me do it to his face because he knows it’s my headache talking. He’s really understanding like that.

One thing I know is that I am not living my best life. All the advice about living in the moment, life being short and enjoying the present—uhhhhh just about impossible when your present = pain. I heard Eckart Tolle answer how to live in the moment when your moment is painful. I must not have been buying what he was selling because I can’t recall his response at all.

I don’t know if I’m just not evolved enough or what, but I cannot pretend to be enjoying life when it feels like an icepick is being jammed into the base of my skull. In fact, I’d love to fast forward as quickly as possible to whatever point it takes to get me out of the pain.

So I guess it’s going to be awhile before I light up any rooms.