The Pain Within

In Features, My Piece of the Sky, Opinion by Marelise Prinsloo Jacob

I sit in my room and think about what the rest of the world is doing. I know somewhere someone is having the best night of her life. City lights and late night dancing, cocktails and laughter.

Great! All that while I’m sitting here, alone. But then again, somewhere someone is having the worst night of his life.

Wonderful! I cheer myself up with someone else’s misery. But I guess that happens a lot, to a lot of people. We sit at home convincing ourselves that the entire world is having a great time, except you.

Conveniently you forget about the fat guy who got dumped by his girlfriend, the lonely housewife watching soapies day in and day out, all the other ordinary people out there doing ordinary things.

You forget about them because you feel so utterly lonely you cannot imagine there is anyone out there just like you.

Yes, and it is true.

I do feel lonely sometimes. I always thought “One day when I grow up and get a boyfriend, I won’t feel lonely anymore.”

Sadly, strangely, that’s not as true as I would’ve liked it to be. My boyfriend is normal, and I am not. All my friends are normal, I am not. My entire family is normal. I am not.

The disability running through my veins has been with me all my life. It is not a thing I have had to get used to, it was there when I was born and it will be there when I die. I cannot escape it.

No matter how much my boyfriend, my friends, and my family love me, they will never understand what it is like to be me. Most times I don’t care. Most times I don’t even remember how it used to bother me.

But sometimes it crashes down on me like a storm and I am caught up in it. These are the times when the pain becomes unbearable, where you scream at the invisible forces around you. The walls, the ceiling, the God that is punishing you for something you didn’t do.

You can barely move enough to take the pain medicine; you wonder again if you should take all of it.

But you remember your family and you only take two. The pain is real and terrible, but it goes away. It always goes away. It goes away for such a long time that you can hardly remember how bad it was.

But you remember, and you fear it. It runs through your mind like a bad song that won’t go away. It grows and lives within you, it sleeps and wanders through your head.

While you’re working, while you’re watching that movie. While you’re pretending to laugh at the joke didn’t hear because you can’t seem to concentrate these days.

This is why I am lonely sometimes. This is why I am sad even though my boyfriend sleeps next to me at night. He told me once he has never broken a single bone in his body before. I only smiled.

He said he has never really experienced pain before. I kept on smiling, wondering silently what a life like that could feel like. I rarely get jealous, honestly. I only get sad. I know it is pointless wanting something what will never be.

Most times I shrug it all of and go have a good time with my friends. Most times I am the one with all the silly jokes making everyone laugh. But at times like these, when I sit alone in my room thinking about the pain pills I am going to take before I go to bed, I don’t feel like making anybody laugh.

I feel like I wish I could make them feel what I feel for just a moment. Even if they don’t deserve it, I want to make them feel the pain that I feel, because I don’t deserve it either.

But hey, there’s always someone worse off than me, right? You bet.
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