I remember clearly the first Percocet I took. Suddenly, as if my fairy godmother had waved her magic wand over my life, my pain, poof! disappeared. The most interesting thing about this fairy story is that I had no idea I was in pain. My husband and I had built a brand new home. I was a member, in good standing, of the church I belonged to at the time and we had just had our first child. By all outward appearances I had risen far above the Cinderella circumstances of my childhood.
What I’d “forgotten” was the fiery little girl who’d fought hard for her Voice. The pain of her defeat buried deep in her psyche. Somewhere along the line I surrendered to slaving away to try to make my mother’s life better. I no longer considered myself separate from her. Her pain had become mine. The problem was mom never admitted to having any pain. Perhaps the twenty-four cans a day, everyday, of Olympia Gold, two packs of Winston reds, took care of it.
Before I forgot myself; I cried, all the time. I was failing in school and so shy I was socially inept. Mom hated this about me. It drew attention to her, to our family, in the way of teachers inquiring as to what was going on in our home. On a regular basis, she told me I was a negative person. That I was weak because I wouldn’t simply put stuff out of my mind and move on.
After I swallowed that first magic pill, I chased a pain-free life for many years. The cost, incredibly high, before I finally was able to come to terms with the fact that life is painful. That I’m not negative or in some way disfigured because I talk or write about it. In fact, doing so, brings me to peace, inside the pain.
It seems to me that there are many people who feel the same way my mother did. Which is to say that if you talk about the negative things that are happening, or have happened, you are a negative unhappy person. The problem here is that what happened, or is happening, gets shoved in the closet next to the fuchsia elephant. Or worse, the person doing the talking actually becomes the identified problem. Because they identify the problem.
Everyone seems to be chanting Happy. Polly Anna gurus of the day are pedaling, “Follow Your Bliss” and “You Are What You Think’. The idea being that all you have to do is think happy thoughts, and viola! you will be happy. If it doesn’t work, well then, you are doing something wrong. I want to be clear here, I do believe that I am what I think. And in order to find out what “I” think, I have to get what you think; what you have told me, I should or shouldn’t think, out of my mind. It seems we took it literally, when mom or dad warned us that our face was going to get stuck in that “ugly” position, when we expressed a feeling that was considered negative.
I realize I might be talking to a wall here. I mean who wants to live with and talk about all the pain when we can opt instead to take one of several Happy Pills specially “designed” to take care of it for us and Zing! Perma Viagra smile! Usage of anti-depressants in the US is up 400% since 1988! There is also prescription pain medication; which happens to be the fastest growing segment of illegal drug use in the US. Causing more deaths, six times as many to be exact, than cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin combined! We The People of the Happy United States, make up 5% of the planets population. We also consume 65% percent of the “make me happy and pain-free” drugs, manufactured in the world.