[Tripping On…] Grinding Off Nightmares

Nostalgia, or homecoming-pain, doesn’t do much for me anymore. An object should serve a utility, have an aesthetic you like, or as I wrote about years ago have a nice memory attached to it. I used the word nostalgia instead… I’m not sure I believe in that so much anymore. An object like this mug with the pink note on it didn’t start with a positive memory, but I’ve ground that nightmare thought off it.

They gave me that cup after my surgery.

I woke up paralyzed. I remained unable to wiggle my fingers or toes or more around from noon of August 31 2021 to 4:30am on September 01 2021. I was awake that whole time. If there is any positive to that memory, it’s that I was taking many areas of life for granted before, and now, I don’t. I would waste time on subjectively mediocre experiences, waste time on people that wouldn’t be bothered to help me, and distracted myself from my goals. My spine still constantly distracts me, and the pain continues to get worse by the day and now even psychedelic, but, still, I persist.

I have a chiropractic appointment tomorrow.

I have few other options at this time, which feels like a running theme of these essays. This third pain management doctor’s medication made me incredibly sick temporarily, and I bet his only other options will be antidepressants or expensive injections – even if they weren’t temporary. With all that said, my experiences with things are limited when I’m not overwhelmed by pain, so now I’m learning to be truly decisive when it comes to things. I ground off the problematic memory from this otherwise useful mug, and I’ll recycle it when it becomes disgusting or I get a better replacement.

I can now use and even look at it without thinking of its origins.

Now that I’ve been reading more, I’ve been going through some of the books I’ve owned that I’ve felt conflicted about. I read some of my gifted copy of House of Leaves before, but now after a 30-minute reading session, I am going to be decisive in selling or donating the pretentious book. The gifting process doesn’t represent this sort of arduous journey of the mind or a trophy of self-development, or even, a thoughtful present. It was something a friend of mine gave me before he moved. It’s OK to get rid of objects like this with some sentimentality of the sentimentality is only limited. He gave me a bunch of books, since they were too heavy to move. Nothing overly symbolic about it; no nostalgia or memories associated with it.

We can change our relationship to memories, positive or negative.

If the mug turned positive and the book turned negative, can we do that for our more subjective experiences? There is no real positive of spine pain to the degree I’ve experienced over the past year, but I can assign my own positivity to it, similar to the post-surgery paralysis, I am now more decisive in many areas. I can’t casually buy groceries, so, I make more informed decisions before I buy. I went to a supermarket recently and rather than buying every food item I wanted, I carefully considered their overall value and weight. I didn’t have the energy to make two trips from the car to the apartment, so I had to be decisive.

I think having experiences like this can be universally useful.

You don’t need to have a spine that is so burdened by pain that it can’t do much of anything to consider it. If you had to walk around with a cane, how would you get by? It’s useful to meditate on these notions while you have good health so that if your reality shifts, you can adjust and adapt. If/When I get into better health, I know that I won’t take for granted the idea of being able to casually engage in capitalist consumerist activities for food or other items.

It will be nice to not be distracted by pain.

1101 to 11:03pm were consumed by such overwhelming pain that I couldn’t do anything other than wade it out. I couldn’t move much more than necessary. My right eye is tearing up as it does when these sorts of episodes happen. Earlier today, while I was cooking food, my spine threw a similar fit. I had to finish prepping my food despite in the middle of a spine-flare up because, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to eat anything. Now my left eye is tearing up as my relationship with pain has become so developed and nuanced that my eyes tear as a reaction to pain and yet mentally I feel about the same as I did before the start of that episode.

Another minor pain outburst.

I can’t write anymore tonight.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: Still some grinding off to do but I thought of the title, wrote the post-it note, then wrote the essay.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Photo: My cupboard
Written On: 2020 April 25 [10:39pm to 11:06pm]
Last Edited: 2020 April 25 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.