collapse of the stoical front

Occasionally the stoical front collapses and tears catch one by surprise. That sudden inexplicable low, amidst the sundry serial and perpetual ailments that beset one, tips the balance. Is it the constant pain, the seemingly interminable incapacity, the sense of isolation resultant from that same invisible disability, or a more general existential angst? Perhaps it’s the combination, of all those things, that sets the tears flowing; for a while I teeter on the brink of self-pity and it proves a real struggle to regain my general positivity. [No sooner have the symptoms of a recent chronic bout of sleep disrupting sciatica receded than a case of TMJD (temporal mandibular joint dysfunction) takes pole position in the table of well-being assailants.]

I’ve always suspected that it’s much harder to witness and share the suffering of a loved one than it is to suffer oneself but, when one does suffer from any ailment, or dis-ease, the awareness that those who care for, and about you, somehow share your pain, intensifies the sense of spiritual suffering. The sufferer also feels guilty at imposing, on the one who loves and cares for them, some of the restrictions (on the socializing front) implicit in one’s own condition. I frequently find myself apologizing to my beloved for my, all too familiar, achingly fatigued condition, and the consequent wearyingly low stamina levels; it’s not that I blame myself for being ill but, to be honest, I’d prefer to be an enabler rather than a burden.


This posting also appears on my Sinna Luvva blog!

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2 Responses to collapse of the stoical front

  1. Mellissa says:

    Love withstands all. You both are so lucky to have each other and that is all that matters. I hope that you are able to live life to the fullest no matter what ailments try to restrict you.

  2. Malcolm says:

    Thanks Melissa – your words and thoughts are much appreciated. My beloved and I are indeed most privileged!

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