Selfish Fear

I’m going to miss DBT today for the first time in over a year. I’ve turned up when I had to struggle to get out of the house, or when I’ve been angry, or sad, or mixed up, sick, and bored. DBT is something to take seriously: I have risen to the challenge of getting well. I’ve been making progress. I have that beautiful feeling of hope. Now something may have arrived from the Ether to turn everything upside down again – it’s always been like this.

For a week or so now I’ve had a weird pain in my lower abdomen that comes and goes without any good reason I could see. Until yesterday. Yesterday I found the source: a lump that was somewhere there shouldn’t be a lump. It was the size of a pea. It hurt when I touched it. It was classically sinister.

I tried not to panic – despite everything else, I’m not a hypochondriac – and decided I’d better get it looked at, just in case. I mean, I’ve seen the ‘men’s adverts’, it’s what you should do.

That was yesterday evening. Now I’m sitting at my desk at home waiting for the Doctors to open so I can make an appointment. I don’t want to go because I’m really worried about someone telling me that it is what I think it is.

I didn’t sleep well last night. Sleep was all about nightmares and night terrors. A poltergeist laid out the final clothes I’d ever wear on my bed when I was out of the room. I tried to put the clothes back, but it roared like a hurricane wind through the house, slamming doors. I couldn’t escape. I woke up screaming.

What irony. I’ve spent a lot of my life wishing I was dead, and now I’m worrying that the choice is going to be taken away from me. I’m powerless if this thing turns out to be….well….you know….that has gotten too far because I don’t look after myself and I don’t take huge notice of my physical ailments.

I shook a little last night when I thought about what that lump could be. I always wanted to decide – at least at this age  – when I’d die, or not. And if I did, by taking an overdose, or hanging myself, there’d be an intense enough feeling that would be righteous and tangible enough to give me license to see it through. It would be right. It would mean I could end another pain at a time of my choosing. This pain was, maybe, different. I thought about all the times I’d had a cold, or an allergy, and how pathetic I’d been. And I wondered how I’d cope if things were as bad as I thought they might be. The funny thing is, I don’t feel pathetic now, I just feel scared.

The phone line opens in ten minutes. It’s grey outside. I’m cold. And…yeah….there it is….that pain again. I probably won’t be able to get an appointment today – some people are trying to blame that on ‘Immigrants’, but they are wrong. There’s a lot of hate and emotion out there, but at this desk, in this little two-hundred year old house on a hill in the countryside, at 07.47 today, all there is is selfish fear.


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