Working Wounded?

Welcome to the “Working Wounded.”

Wait… What?!

If you truly understood, you’d know that I have been the “Working Dead” for the past 8 years! The only time I felt truly good was when my body had purged these drugs that are trying to prevent THE REAL DISEASE from rearing its ugly head — And even that ended with me losing control of half of my body and an astronomical amount of IV steroids being pumped into my system followed by losing 35 pounds of water weight in less than 20 hours and a stay in the local hospital! The rest of the time has been plagued with me oftentimes puking, shitting, or floating down a river of snot on my way through a work day. There is no welcome wagon for me, sweetie — I’m the grizzled hardcore who’s been here a lot longer than you.

Welcome to the world of the Chronically Ill!

That may sound melodramatic and maybe it is — but, you’re talking to someone who’s been pushing through a workday “wounded” for a lot longer than I let on. And this disease — You know the one that steals every ounce of energy I have, threatens many of my mental faculties, and destroys a good deal of my physical prowess, but leaves me looking pale and lovely for the world to see — The one I deal with every day yet no one recognizes because my chemo drugs don’t leave me hairless or green, just susceptible to every fucking illness that crosses my path? Yeah, that one. That robust, cunty bitch named MS gives me every right to look at insensitive people and say “WTF was that?”

But — I also know we all have to deal with our own hurts, problems, and ick and it’s really quite hard to step outside of our own bubble to view the world through clearer eyes. So I try, using a lot of restraint and understanding, to ignore the comments or insensitive remarks. Sometimes, I’ll try to convince myself that the other person is way worse off so that I don’t think the cruel thoughts lurking behind these tired eyes. Sometimes I actually start to believe it and buy into my mantra of “I really do have a very mild course of disease” so I can just smile through my day with a fake grin of delightful, happy, chubby-girl bliss.

Why? Because that’s what people want from me: A smile, a joke, a positive remark, and a push forward through the rest of their day… And they get it in abundance. No one likes to hang out with a downer, don’t you know?

But make no mistake: My days are not fun. I am sick more than I am well. I suffer through every fucking day so I can live some semblance of a life beyond what has been written on my god damned page. And this annoyance, this fire, this pissed off regime of disgust is what fuels this machine through everything I do. So maybe that unwatched pot ready to boil over feeling when you’re standing next to me in line or that car out of control sense you get from me when we talk isn’t so far off. Damaged people are dangerous because we know we can survive — The jury is still out on you.

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But also understand, as a person, I am not mad at you. I’m not mad at the world. I’m not even mad at the people saying these things. I’m mad at me, my body the hand grenade, and whatever god you subscribe to — Or maybe fate… Let’s blame that bitch. Perhaps I can let my anger flow into every bad decision I ever made… because I’m sure one of those made me more susceptible than the next likely candidate to get this.

But what all of this ranting really boils down to is that in five minutes this anger will be gone, evaporated, pushed under that blanket of calm I carry every day and reneged. I’ll laugh. I’ll smile. I may even mean it…

But try as I might, I will never be well.

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