Writing by Haylee Penfold // photograph by blitzed images
It’s the days where I’ve made plans that I’m so excited for, spending time on my hair and make up, just to get dressed and have none of my pants fit right. Or those days when I’ve made it out and I’m having fun just to wake up on the floor not knowing where I am or what happened before I fainted.
It’s this weird feeling right when I wake up from surgery where for just a moment I can’t feel a thing, no pain – nothing. Those moments often feel like a relief, like a break from the constant pain and fatigue.
It never lasts though… What’s next are the questions that flood my foggy brain.
What did they find?
Or is it all in my head?
Then you’re inside your body again, but it doesn’t feel the same.
Now it’s swollen and there’s scars where someone has cut you open, looked inside and cut away all the bad stuff, only to put you back together again to do the same thing again in six months.
The weeks of healing are a strange kind of in-between. One day you feel nothing, the next everything inside feels like it’s so squished together you can barely breathe. All while people are asking you if you’re feeling better, like now they expect for you to be better… to be fixed.
That’s where the hardest truth lies, that there is no fixing you.
That the pain you feel, the pain that doesn’t just cancel your plans or ruin your mood, it’s the pain that leaves you crying in the shower and struggling to get out of bed. The pain that no one can see but leaves you wondering if you’ll ever become a mother one day. It brings you to your darkest points that you wonder if you can even bear to live with this pain that long.
That pain is always going to come back.
My body is my home, and though it might feel like a cage
To me, it’s armour.