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Outside: Short Story IV – Aleph

Outside: Short Story IV – Aleph

Author’s Note: This story came to me in a dream. After 3 nights of sleep deprivation, 4 hours of sleep the night before, with a raging migraine, and an erratic heart beat – who would’ve thought I would wake up today energised like I am now. This story will offend a lot, especially those with an autoimmune disease, heck it offended me. But I cannot ignore that the “dream” taught me some tough love I’ve been needing to hear.

“What are you doing?!”  I ask, exasperated seeing him emptying the pills down the drain.

“Changing the narrative” he replies with an easy expression there is no malice with what he said, but I feel as if he has punched me right in the gut.

“You don’t understand” I attempt to grab the remaining pills before the entire bottle is empty.

“Don’t I?” he doesn’t smile mockingly, he doesn’t look sympathetic either.

“I need them!”

“Not pain killers” he answers simply.

I feel a rage building up inside of me.

“Fuck you!” I shout.

“You’ve written yourself as a victim in your story, I’m changing the narrative”

“It’s not that easy!”

“Aren’t we all victims in our own way to our circumstances?”

My eyes, surely looking wild by now, look at him with as much hatred I could muster.

“What is it your friend said?…Pain is inevitable but suffering is not”

*******

I was 12 years old. That was the beginning. The before. Feeling. It was almost a luxury. It’s been 16 years. I don’t want to feel. I don’t know how to anymore.

I glance at my phone – It’s 3am and sleep still proves to be elusive. It’s the first night I don’t take any medicine that helps me sleep. They’re dreamless ones but I can sleep at least. This so-called sleep is full of nightmares, the pain in the back of my head continues to throb…

*******

“Do you think the world owes you something?” Aleph asks, he looks at me as if studying my face.

“No! Of course not!”

“Then quit your crying. What you have…it sucks…anyone can admit that…but what are you doing about it? Tired? Get up! I haven’t seen you fight since you were 16 and you had a stroke last year!”

I inhale deeply, my right hand curling into a fist by my side.

“Yeah you survived…better than most even, and what are you doing? You say you’ve been given a second chance, to do what? what Camille?!” his voice growing more agitated as he goes on.

“No snarky reply huh?…withdraw your claws Camille, I’m not out to get you, no one is, there is no war, it’s all you…no one cares, do you?”

*******

I wake up at 6 am, do an hour of exercise as instructed by my physiotherapist, it’s the first time I’ve done so in 3 months.

“Do you want an applause?” Aleph asks. Again, I do not reply.

I listen to my calm app, and meditate to ‘The Art of Self-Compassion’.

“It’s ok to fall down, it’s not okay to give up, you pick yourself up and try again” Aleph says. “And if it wasn’t clear – pain killers are that. It’s you giving up on yourself. Not feeling is not being” he spits.

“Have you ever had a migraine?” I ask softly. My anger lessening.

“Are you trying to compare our situations?” He asks. “How dare you judge someone else’s struggle?” He continues.

“How dare you?!” I ask. My anger back at full force.

The song ‘Move (if you wanna)’ by MiMS plays in the background as I pack my things up.

*******

“Back for more?” asks Aleph.

“Enough” I bite out.

“You’re done?” He asks.

“I’m just getting started”

Author’s note: You may be thinking, where are you going with this? As I woke up from my dream I feel a new resolve to fight….to feel…it can be the hardest choice to make. Many medicines help numb the pain, the symptoms but all they’re doing is prolonging the inevitable.  Take only what you NEED to take not just what you WANT to take. I sound like a drug addict right? Easy for those who’ve never dealt with the mindnumbing pain. You don’t need to explain to anyone. There will be expected withdrawal, there will be pain. But how lucky is anyone to actually feel pain? It tells you, you’re alive! Thank you Aleph.

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I create blogs to inspire. If you're a passionate owner or business that wants to make a positive difference, I can help you write meaningful copy to move your audience and show them the possibilities of how your services and products can help transform their lives. Visit my professional website: www.ExpressedByCamille.com.au



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