How is the world against me? How is nothing going my way? Just like everyone else is experiencing. The power of being in pain, the power of pain ruling your life.
I have faith in the power of my mind. And then, I started to see the cracks in the wall. I might as well have been listening to Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
I was starting to lose my faith in myself, and I started looking at the darker side of things. It’s the dark side of my soul, the dark side of my brain.
When I started doing that, it was during the pandemic.
It was just me; I had no support. I had nobody to help give me strength. I have nothing, Nada zero zilch zip. I could feel the darkness pulling on me. I could hear it, feel it, calling my name.
That was the first time that I can recall hearing it, and what it was telling me was there’s no way out. There’s not going to be anybody to save me.
No matter how hard I try, no one will help me. I have accepted that, and so I started to deal with it. And I kept losing my faith. That fucking pull was so powerful.
I kept losing my faith in myself, and I started measuring all the things I would have to do to have in place if I was to get hurt. Get hurt in any way, whether by acting out or hurting myself.
And I wanted to hurt myself in a large and significant way. So that was my go-to when I was sad, angry, happy. It was one of my three safe places. But that’s not important to this story.
I couldn’t get tattooed because I’m not working, have no money, and tattoos aren’t free. So far as I know, “The Shaman” charges me every time I have a session.
I have faith that I could steer myself clear, and good things would happen. And they weren’t, and the darkness just kept coming.
I started looking at the calendar and thought to myself, “If this isn’t resolved in my life by this point, then I’m going to have no alternative.”
As I said earlier, I am not going to leave , , and . They are my boys.
The power of my strength, the power of my faith, comes from hope. And , , and give me hope; they give me something to live for, else I probably would’ve killed myself a long time ago.
And there’s some more of the darkness seeping out.
And then I started thinking about it. But yet, I could feel my faith slipping away over and over. What are you supposed to do when you have no faith?
The pain was so powerful that it was almost static cling, and I had no dryer sheets to help repel it, let alone delint my fur-filled clothes. And then it happened.
I was in the kitchen the other day and working on a blog post, and suddenly I felt my right knee pop. And a second time. Wait, three’s the magic number.
I’ve had four (4) surgeries on that knee, three (3) of which were scopes. Those were in 2006, 2007, 2010. In 2016, I had ACL + microfracture surgery on that knee.
Not that the left side is any better, I’ve only had two scopes on it, 2006 and 2016.
This event couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Here I am, out of work, incredibly broken in my heart, soul, and mind. It is one of the last things I need to be a problem.
As I stood there in the kitchen grasping my knee, I thought, “Well, 2020 is fucking me again. It keeps finding new and innovative ways to do it, that’s for fucking sure.”
After digesting that statement, I remembered coming back from New York in 2016 and thinking about it in a much broader and stronger context.
I was in New York in 2016 because my most excellent sisters wanted me to be back for my mother’s funeral. I didn’t want to go as that giant C didn’t deserve my presence.
There was a great deal of speculation on whether I would undergo two more knee surgeries. The right knee had decided to do the three-pop shuffle and make me miserable.
When I got back, I looked for my orthopedist’s number to get that shit setup. He had done four (4) of my previous knee surgeries, and I trusted him.
Come to find out that he had either passed away or shut down his practice, everything was boarded up, and the phone lines busied out.
And back to the ice packs, trying to get the swelling down and relieve some of the tightness. It was uncomfortable, and the amount of swelling made my tattoos look fat.
My boss at that time, very much so the best boss that I had ever had, suggested a place that did his pectoral surgery. I was hesitant at first as I could be adverse to change.
I saw the orthopedist, and he confirmed, after some x-rays and a pair of MRIs, precisely what I had suspected. Nothing good.
There was another tear in the meniscus of my left knee, and the ACL in my right knee was, well, not exactly there anymore. I suppose that’s what happens when you first tear it in 1988.
We started to formulate a plan, and of course, these types of projects take a while.
One has to consider having multiple surgeries in particular proximity as being under too many times is not very desirable, if you will.
One funny thing that transpired between the two surgeries was that I was contacted by the owner of the house I was renting. She informed me that she wanted it back, and adorably and positively, she explained to me the reasoning.
It made complete sense to me, and I agreed that it was the right decision for all parties involved. When I brought up the timing, she told me that I would have six weeks to move out.
It was about that time I mentioned to her that I was having ACL surgery in less than a month and that two weeks before this phone call, I had the left knee scoped.
So now I have to move my home in a particular window of time that fell between the two knee surgeries. So hopefully, you see the difficulties in what I am getting at.
While I was able to pull this off successfully, it was because I found a house that was roughly 312 feet up the street. I loved the new place, and I was able to move in tiny stages.
I could come home from work, pack up some plastic bins, load them into the car, drive to the new place, and unpack. That meant I did not have to deal with bullshit in any room. At all.
I could go at my own pace, and when moving day came, I had professional movers handle the furniture because I physically could not.
I just was too broken, physically and mentally.
I had completed my move and settled for about a week; my good sister came out from CT to help me for the first few days after my ACL surgery. That was very kind of her, and I will always appreciate that.
She knows this, and she is a wonderful person. I’m fortunate for the values that our parents taught us, my two sisters and myself. I know I can trust them implicitly.
I know they will never do anything harmful, be it physically, emotionally, mentally, or financially, to me, and they both know the same of each other and myself.
Everything with the surgery went well, and I’m very thankful that I had her there to assist me. She helped regulate pain medication, ensured that I followed the rules, etc.
I’m bringing this up because it’s essential to understand that while my sisters and I are all spread out, there is an underlying core component to the fundamental values and always value system that we have.
We are always willing to do something for each other. And in this case, it was the willingness of my oldest sister to help me out that made all the difference in the world.
The one main thing rattling through my head was back in 2016. The orthopedist and insurance company were fighting over prices. I was getting all of these packets in the mail that included price breakdowns and specifications, what they were willing to pay, and whatnot.
And the scope for my left knee was quoted at $60,000. That is correct, six-zero-comma-zero-zero-zero. I was stunned when I saw those, and I even brought them into work to have some of my colleagues review them to see if I was out of my gourd.
I know my orthopedist does not take Obamacare. Apparently, he doesn’t take blowjobs as payment either. What is this world coming to?
All jokes aside, I don’t have the cash to have any procedures done, whether an MRI or an x-ray or an office visit. I just spent $120 that broke my fucking soul when I had to go to see my primary care to get a refill on a script.
Backlinks to other Chapters
DRAFT – Chapter 0 – Lost – The Other Side |2022
DRAFT – Chapter 1 – Backstory – The Other Side |2022
DRAFT – Chapter 2 – Hope With a Side of Fear – The Other Side |2022
DRAFT – Chapter 3 – Fear without Hope – The Other Side |2022
DRAFT – Chapter 4 – Fear with Darkness – The Other Side |2022
DRAFT – Chapter 5 – Darkness and Hope – The Other Side |2022
DRAFT – Chapter 6 – Release – The Other Side |2022
DRAFT – Chapter 7 – Faith & Darkness – The Other Side |2022
power power power power