Over the last hour, I’ve been watching an amazing sunset. We have a wall of windows and a sliding glass door that leads out onto a huge balcony. The sunsets in California are out of this world. As the sunset progressed, a huge cloud sat right above the mountains and the ocean, creating some magnificent colors and shadows. Purples, pinks and grays are about to completely be hidden as the sun is almost gone and night sets in.
As I watched the sunset, I texted my grandmother (yes, my grandmother!) to ask about my grandfather who just had major surgery and had just come home a few days ago. I knew I should call and have a more in depth conversation with her, but I don’t have it in me. I realized that I had gone dark, like the setting sun.
By going dark, I mean that I hadn’t been in communication as much with my family or friends like I typically am. When I don’t text back or they get my voicemail for a few days, it gives them the message that I’m likely sick. I don’t mean to do it, but at that point I’m just trying to survive. If they get concerned they will typically text my boyfriend to make sure I’m still alive.
When I just texted my grandmother, I asked about grandpa but also let her know that I’ve had a few rough days. During this transition time for him, I want to be at home in WV to help. Since I can’t be, I should be checking in with my family more often than I have since he got home. I’ve gone dark. My text let her know that I’m thinking of them, but need some space. I think it’s just a pattern we’ve all adjusted to over the years.
It’s probably harder on the person I’ve neglected than on me. I feel guilty, but I add it to the “To Do” list and I’ll get back to them soon. I’m lucky they are all so understanding and supportive.
The sun is completely gone now. From my vantage point, all I see are lights littered along the hillside. There are patches of complete darkness. That’s where you’ll find me for the next few days until I can break this cycle: I’m in the dark.
“Caged” by Lisa Benson This self portrait is the tragically beautiful work of Lisa Benson, who is also a writer for Migraine.com. This is the second piece Lisa generously shared with Golden Graine in the Creative Corner.
This picture is being sold as part of a fundraising effort between the US PainFoundation and 540WMain, a non-profit run by my dear friend Calvin Eaton in Rochester, NY. Learn more about this project and how to purchase artwork by those who have chronic pain conditions.
Medical ketamine infusions have been the basis of my chronic migraine treatment plan since 2013. I fondly refer to the Jefferson Headache Clinic (part of Thomas Jefferson University) as “Headache Camp.” I’ve compiled every interview, podcast, and article I’ve written on my experience. And yes, I do still travel to Philadelphia at least once a…