This pain is present every day,
Unyielding, oppressive, still there.
Why doesn’t it take a day off?
Who said life is always fair?
Inhabited by the unwanted
I feel victimized, possessed;
I ask myself all those questions,
What did I do? Was I too stressed?
How much is psychological?
How much is left to chance?
Will it get worse or better?
Should I take a reflective glance?
Depression displaced by anger,
I feel helpless, betrayed by fate.
Blaming myself, my parents, my genes
I face my own Watergate.
I begin to count my losses,
Labor through my grief,
My life, my body, my family,
All vandalized by this thief.
What can I expect to change?
What is always to be?
It seems all I valued before
Is now questioned, constantly.
Daily pain has rocked my world
As war, earthquake and flood,
As my own Richter scale responds
By changes deep within my blood.
I feel alienated from others,
Those vital, healthy and tanned
While I’m often despondent, alone,
An alien in my own homeland.
I often wallow and flounder,
Kicked by the foot of fate,
Yet each day I pass a mirror and say,
“This is your life! It’s getting late!”
Then it so often hits me,
I’ve had enough of this pit.
My life can’t lead me around
It’s I who must lead it.
I begin to look for solutions
If this pain is always to be.
Each day I look for hope in my life,
Imprisoned, I long to be free.
I take a daily inventory
Of all that I have left,
One day, I’ll stop asking, “Why?”
And begin feeling less bereft.
Instinctively, I reach out for joy,
Laughter feels so delicious inside
As it ripples through my body
Bringing its healing tide.
I’ve learned to love each day
Even the dark side and strife
For hidden within the heartache
Is a seed of renewal called life.
SUE FALKNER WOOD, 2006
I wrote this poem ten years ago and continue the daily fight against chronic pain, just as many of you do. It has been reprinted online on numerous sites as well as being published in a textbook in India. If I’m allowed to say so, it has always been a favorite of mine. It always rang true with me and how I felt at the time and continue to feel each day of my life. The battle rages on with its good times and bad.