There’s a classic joke of the type that used to be called a “Shaggy dog story” and is now probably categorised as a “Dad joke”. It usually has a long buildup, and ends with people coming across a survivor of an attack, lying on the ground, moaning, his body riddled with arrows or spears. When asked “Does it hurt?”, his eyelids flutter open and he whispers “Only when I laugh…”
How could I resist using that? This crazy pain gets triggered off in a myriad ways, each afflicted person getting her or his individual, customised set of triggers. Some common and unsurprising, some strange.
It’s hurtful just how viciously TN erodes your life away: The shower has gone from being that lovely wake-me-up place in the morning where you wash away nightmares and sleep….to a cubicle that I walk into hesitantly with head bowed, tentatively edging under the stream of water, avoiding splashing my eyes with water, touching around my eye with my hands. I talk less, I try not to sing at all, or laugh or yawn or sneeze or cough…. And this is early days? When I still have claim to most of my life?
This thing is like a great big nasty beast, picking a person’s life up like a dollhouse and shaking it upside down. And you hang on desperately, trying to save your Self, while watching all the stuff of your life falling away around you, disappearing into the void under your dangling feet. It’s just fucking weird… and awful.