You know what? No. I take it back. I have given up.
I’ve given up on trying to have any kind of “normal” social life. I’ve given up on the frivolity of dating. I’ve given up on the idea that I can be a worthwhile or important, much less a primary, part of someone else’s life. I have forgone the notion of finding a “life partner,” much less an actual husband. I’ve given up hope of having regular physical interactions with other human beings (it isn’t uncommon for me to go months without so much as a friendly hug). I have given up on thinking, “maybe someday I will be a mom.” I am far too old for that now, and who knows the havoc it would wreak on my poor dysfunctional body.
No. I must give up on all of that. CRPS has made me perpetually peripheral to my relationships and my relationship with the real world. I am now only important to me and that has to be enough.
Most important though, I’ve given up on trying to be out of pain.
I have CRPS. It hurts. It will hurt in varying degrees for the rest of my life. Nowadays, a “good” day is about a 7/10, which I would have described as a full 10/10 prior to my accident. Every step: hurts. Every kick in the pool: hurts. Every pretend pedal on my bike: hurts. Sitting: hurts. Standing: hurts. Attempting to dance: hurts. Opening the refrigerator door: hurts. But laying around doing nothing hurts too.
And it all hurts my psyche more than I could ever have imagined.
But what’s the answer to this ever-compounding pain? More medication that will further inhibit and isolate me? No. I have to give up on the idea that this pain will ever go away. I have to find a way to endure: if my leg isn’t in one of its famous crippling uncontrollable dystonic spasms, if I am not about to vomit from the pain (which happens more often than I’ll admit), and if I am not going to pass out, I will will myself to carry on.
Alone, lonely, and in pain, I force myself to carry on.
Because, upon further consideration, I have given up on everything except myself.