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Posted by Dave Emond ( on July 12, 2001 at 03:34:46:

Hi all,
My mother was visiting the other day and must have noticed the frustration in my eyes, and her loving concern for me goes deeper than just my physical pain.
As hard as it was for her to do, she asked how I was holding up emotionally and if I was losing faith?
I often write to myself in Word programs before, during and after attacks. Many of which I quickly delete lest anyone should find them and decide to put me away. To reassure her, I printed out one such message (never meant to be read by anyone) and she felt better. My brother was visitig too, and also read it, he said it should be posted here for others who might feel the same way. I was hesitant, again because I had never meant for anyone to read this.
But, I was reading the archives again, and saw the subject of anger and pain come up often, so I've changed my mind. So, for what it's worth, here are some ramblings of a fellow clusterhead just coming down off a severe attack late one night:
I could never pretend to pit one pain against another. There is no such yardstick. Pain is pain in its own sake, and takes on many forms. Many of which can only be known to the beholder.
Sometimes it helps to just talk. To let it all out. To curse those torturous demons that rip away at our heart, claw and grate at our minds, trying with all their might to eat away at our very soul. They are strong and relentless, never ceasing. They work from the inside, but manifest themselves outwardly, both physically and emotionally. They want not only us, but those around us.
How can I protect myself? How can I protect those around me? These demons can drop me to my knees in seconds begging for mercy. They can brutalize my concepts of logic, emotion, will ... and sadly beat me down to the point of losing faith and hence respect for my own life. Then I am nothing.
I cannot allow this. I will not allow this. There are weapons to fight these demons, but my stength is weak to grasp them. One hand is already full of pride, I must drop it in order to have two free hands to receive these implements of war to battle these beasts. I hold so tightly to that pride as if it were my last defense, all the while knowing it is my demise. In anguish, I release it.
There is a faint but solid voice, "My Grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." This Grace fills the void left in my empty hand where pride once ruled. Where pride had failed, the Grace of God now slashes through the demons sending them scattering for hiding places.
I feel the gentle lifting of my other hand by family and friends, they would be there to lift me when I fell, to bandage my war wounds, to prepare me to stand again.
The demons only consider this a temporary setback. They reorganize, and spread to new bunkers. Their commander is wise to this type of battle and has defeated it before. Time. He is the master of time. He uses it well. He has specialized forces in camouflage. He knows his victim has already built up a certain degree of pain tolerance, in fact, to a point that others around them could not see the pain, (they are conditioned to the full on attacks). So, these demons secretly do their discrete attacks in the shadows, and the victim rarely makes too much ado about it. Victims tend to feel guilty about being a burden to those whose lives they've interrupted, unfounded ... true, but these demons have done much damage to their preys minds. Time ... maybe a day or two. The victim is fatigued, but will (along with the prodding of others) attempt to get back to life as they knew it. Easy steps at first, some simple chores, ignore the shadows and press on. The Beast loves to give that faint bit of hope before ambushing his victim again with full force!
The extreme pain is the intial onslaught, but the true arsenal is much more devastating. It's called Anger. Anger is the Beasts best weapon. The excruiating pain sends the victim whirling out of control, hands flailing, grasping for the first thing they can reach. The Beast Master of time knows this, and the barrage of agony bolts endlessly and with such savagery the victim has no time to think. So, they turn on themselves, foolishly hoping to rent the demons out by any means possible. But it cannot be done ...
Anger bursts through our veins like boiling steam, electrical fires spark through our heads, nerves dangle like broken live wires in a a storm. We run down the corridors of our minds, hands outstretched, reaching for someone to grasp them. The demons slither out of the creases in the folds of our brains and slash at us, they hang from above and drive spikes into our skulls. For every three feet we run forward, we are drug back two, but we push on and on.
Eternity ... the time of the Beast! It will never end!
But, I know they are there, I know I can't clutch my hand to anger, nor my other to pride, or I will lose the battle. Keep reaching, reaching, know ... it will be there ... and it is. Grace fills one hand and love from family and friends the other. I can feel the evil spirits shrink and hollow back into the shadows down into the deep crevasses of my mind.
More bandages ... more time?

Oh well, as J. Joplin would say, " That's it!"
(BTW: Thanks to all of you for those hands and bandages ... LYG's)

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