People keep asking me how I’m doing. If I’m getting better or if I’ve taken the time to process what’s happened. If I’ve sought professional help for the metal percussions induced by my career-ending injury.
In all honesty though, professional help is futile. It can’t save me now. I’m walking through hell and sitting in a ring of fire discussing the temperature of the searing flames would be idiotic.
Why would I allow the flames to dance along my already seared skin longer than necessary? I know they’re hot. I know I’m in hell.
I know the pain I feel every day is real and crippling.
Talking about this pain wouldn’t end it. It wouldn’t diminish the heat. It wouldn’t help.
I need to keep walking. I just need to keep walking.
My crippled body can’t run anymore, but I’ve got to keep walking.
Others continue to rush by. Frantic because they’ve never felt the flames. They aren’t familiar with the burn. The idea of being in hell is novel.
They are novices.
But life hasn’t been kind to me. These flames are familiar with every curve of my body and they dance around with trained feet.
I’ve been in hell for years.
People continue suggesting I find the light at the end of the tunnel, but that’s near impossible here. I’m too blinded by the brightness of a vehement flame. Sizzling with an angry vigor for the lack of gratitude I bestowed on my past life.
It mocks the speed at which I used to be able to run. It laps sardonically at the feet that used to run cheer-inducing speeds without thanks from their owner.
But crowds don’t cheer my name anymore. I now stand on the sidelines and watch my team play.
I burn alive for the game I used to breath and as I watch each and every game, the deep breaths of oxygen only continue alighting the fire.
There’s no way out it seems, but I will try to keep walking.
Because talking is futile.
Note: Spinal diseases are crippling mentally and physically. Watching the body you've sculpted for years turn to mush because you can't workout is dilapidating . The despair and helplessness are unfamiliar feelings, feelings that can't be overcome. Disease is disease and sometimes it can't be stopped. Sometimes, it just becomes a burden to bear.
And sometimes people aren't strong enough.
It's different when careers end after four years of college. An expected end, an anticipated end. But when things you love are taken from you abruptly, before your finished. The pain is exponentially worse.