I Need To Tell You

One day, lamenting the fact that my hands were in so much pain I could not finish coloring a page in my snazzy new adult coloring book, I was met with this unsolicited advice:

My hands hurt, too, but I just take my time and if it takes me a week to color a page then it takes me a week. Remember, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. 

Cool story, bro, but you’re going to have to take your candy coated zen master bullshit elsewhere because I’m telling you my hands hurt. I’m telling you that these hands used to wedge clay and spend hours at the pottery wheel without so much as a cramp or an ache. Now, there are days that I can’t open a pickle jar.

These hands used to garden and grate and chop and slice and type and write and color and do all manner of things and now they hurt almost every single day. Same goes for my other joints. I ache. I pop. I creak. There are nights when I go to bed early simply to make tomorrow come quicker in the hopes that it’s better than the day before.

This body used to run. This body used to stretch. It used to climb and swim and bike and look forward to pain because it knew it was temporary. It knew it was going to be stronger afterwards. Now it has to give in before I want it to. These days the leg that would never quit sometimes comes out from under me without warning.

I’m telling you that I’m learning how to live in a body that betrayed me and it’s not easy, nor is it graceful and it’s not going to happen in a timely manner. I have days where I’m mad, so mad my blood boils. I can laugh it off, but not for your convenience, or mine for that matter. I cry when I cry and I’d love to tell you it’s going to get better but it’s been more than four years and I’ve still not figured it out.

So, it’s fantastic that you have found some splendid way of going with the flow and taking it as it comes and finding the silver lining in every dark cloud, but I have not. Your words of wisdom fell flat. They dropped right at my feet and I stomped them into the earth. I don’t need your words. I need your ears. I’m telling you my hands hurt.

I don’t need you to fix me. Don’t cheer me up. Don’t tell me to look on the bright side. I’m telling you my hands hurt. I’m telling you I can’t perform a simple task, a task that a child does all day long. I’m telling you I can’t express myself. My creative outlet is gone. I feel less capable. I sometimes struggle to find my worth. Hear that.

My pain, my tears, my frustration and anger don’t make me ungrateful, so don’t you dare suggest it. I can feel all these things and still know I’m lucky. I get that it can be worse. I know others would wish for my problems, but I need to cry. I have to wallow in bitterness. Either I acknowledge those feelings, I own them, or they own me. It’s that simple.

I’m telling you my hands hurt, hurt too much to hold a pencil. I’m telling you I’m sad that I want to finish a page in a day, but I can’t. I’m telling you that I don’t want to take a week to do it. My heart wants it now and doesn’t understand why my hands can’t make it so. Hear that, please. Feel that broken heart of mine, just for a second, so you know I need your comfort because I’m not just telling you my hands hurt. I’m telling you my soul aches.

I may have laughed about it yesterday or found some deep, inspirational lesson in it the day before, but today I need to be fucking pissed about it. Today I need a hot bath with Jeff Buckley. I need an extra slice of pie and the space to be an angry beast. Today I just want to bury my head in the covers and pretend it never happened because sometimes that’s what I mean when I tell you my hands hurt.

I’m telling you my hands hurt because I’m trying to learn to live with it. I’m telling you my hands hurt because I feel lost and afraid. I feel weak. I’m telling you my hands hurt because I hoped you would empathize. I needed you to be gentle and kind. I’m telling you my hands hurt because I don’t understand why this happened to me and I need you to let me hate it. I can’t be happy now. I don’t have hope. Hear that.

I’m telling you my hands hurt, but what I really mean is that I hurt and I need time. I need a few more days or a few more years to figure it out and I will. I do it everyday. I learn how to navigate my anger and my tears. I learn how to get around weakness and embarrassment and a never ending stream of humility. But first, I need to tell you my hands hurt. I don’t need you to solve the problem. I don’t want you to put a pretty bow on it. I need to tell you my hands hurt and I need you to hear what that means.

*Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.


133 thoughts on “I Need To Tell You

  1. I’m sorry your hands hurt, on day when perhaps they are not as bad grab a frying pan and hit that fecker straight in the face with it! Maybe you’ll be heard next time. I miss the me I was before my accident, but I am learning to live with what I have too, but some days it just plain sucks.

    So pleased to see that little WordPress Discover symbol on your blog, I knew we would not be able to keep the secret that is your amazing writing all to ourselves for long.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hi Christine – Sorry I have not commented earlier, just a tad busy. Just wanted to echo all the above. I feel your pain lady, I know what you mean by pain, also have some of my own, but not as bad as you, but have a slight understanding of what you go through. I just love this piece and thank you for being so open to write this incredible wonderful post. Hope you’re OK, but I tweeted it. Take care and all the best for each day

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Woww!!!
    Really nice post.
    And such strong emotions!!!!
    I don’t think an extra slice of pie is enough. Add a bucket of ice cream!!!😜
    I also have felt pain and frustration and sometimes you just need a hug and people who give a shit about you.
    Not people who judge you but those who understand!!!
    Good job Christine!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Christine, I just found you via Big Up Your Blog, It must be bloody awful that your hands hurt so much., and more so that you can’t do what you used to. Life can be such a viscious bitch sometimes.
    I loved reading this post, your way with words really drew me in.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on Retired? No one told me! and commented:
    This made me cry….Not many posts move me like this one …It is searingly honest and this lady thoroughly deserves her accolade from WP…..Have the tissues handy when you read this it made me think of other brave ladies who are close to my heart…You know who you are…Much love xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A wonderful post! It so often happens that what we are looking for is to be HEARD, to be REALLY THOROUGHLY LISTENED TO and UNDERSTOOD, and perhaps not only that but CARED ABOUT, too!! How often is it that someone will take the time and energy to REALLY LISTEN, to UNDERSTAND! Also,there is a nugget of gold somewhere in between how your hands hurt now and the things your hands used to be able to do! YOU and how you feel ARE IMPORTANT!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I need to tell you that my hands hurt, but I’m commenting on your words because they moved me to use these aching hands to type. I hope you find comfort in all of these comments because I know that us pain warriors just want to be heard and hope to help others suffering along with us. My hands hurt or I’d bake you a cake like I used to be able to do for my family of 7. Everyone saying cut gluten, and this, and that out of your diet. I want to say FUCK YOU! I’ve already cut almost every enjoyable thing out of my life due to pain. Leave my damn brownies alone! Thank you so much for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. YES!
    We are so bad at being there for someone and just listening to them and their pain.
    The reassuring things that we say are for our sake, to make us feel better and helpful.
    But most times we, the aching souls, just want to be heard.
    Sometimes we just need to hear “That sucks, I’m sorry”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This was moving.

    I’m sorry you have to go through this. I think more people need to understand that sometimes it’s not really possible to be grateful for what one has and think of those worse off than you. We need the permission to feel the way we do, without everyone trying to brighten us up – they wouldn’t do it themselves if they were in our place. Shit happens and we don’t need others telling us to get over it and be positive. We NEED the crying to get over it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Christine,
    It’s so true that we can’t always see silver linings and positivity, as humans we do feel anger and frustration, especially when something has taken so much from us
    I love your writing style, it’s raw and authentic.
    Thank You for sharing this with us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. sometimes there is no comfort or good side to something, and the people shift uncomfortable at that. They want to make it better so they can feel okay about what you’re saying.
    I’m sorry about your hands and your creative outlet. it sounds like an incredible loss for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I LOVE the fearlessness and transparency in your writing…….I aspire to both in my own..
    I have similar losses and similar pain so my heart really goes out to you…..I hope today you have much less

    Liked by 1 person

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