|Posted by Angie Merriam on January 13, 2014 at 11:25 AM|
She stood facing her floor to ceiling mirror. Her reflection no longer startled her. Her body had changed considerably since the great monster chose to use her body as a host. That is what she called it now, “the great monster.” No one else seemed to have the ability to give her silent tormenter a name. Doctors were baffled and she sometimes doubted her friends and family truly believed her. Her monster was silent, nameless, and faceless. It’s hard to believe in something that you can’t see or touch or even put a name to. She knew it was there. That was all that mattered now.
She reminisced briefly on her life before the monster. Her hair seemed to shine brighter, her face appeared younger, but it was the changes in her body that bothered her the most. She was growing older, after all, so a few wrinkles were nothing to get excited over and her hair was mostly worn in a ponytail so who cared if it didn’t shine as brightly. Her body though, her body was so different.
She thought of how, at one time, she stood tall, strong, thin and straight. The monster had a different idea for her body. Her body now could swell from her toes to her head causing her once beautiful skin to stretch and contrast. Now tiny lines covered her skin as though the beast was marking its territory. Her once flat belly now protruded as though she was pregnant and her strong spine had given up on holding her upright. Her body leaned severely to one side more often than it stood straight. These were just outward appearances though. The things people could see. The things that proved something was not right were inside of her. It was the way the monster terrorized her insides that left her nearly crippled, mentally and physically.
Most days the monster ran with fire beneath her skin. It wreaked havoc on her muscles, her bones, and her mind. The pain was uncontrollable, leaving her weak, angry, sad, and, most of all, resentful of the life she had lived and of the life was now living. Try as she might her mind couldn’t compete with the monster. She tried, in vein, to quiet the monster. She would feed it morphine but the drug only made the monster stronger and her mind weaker.
Before she knew what was happening, the monster took hold of the morphine and begged her for more. Her mind was conflicted. She knew the dangers of the drug. She knew the risk of addiction. She also knew the pain that controlled her life. She knew the sadness she felt when the pain held her bed bound. She knew the morphine could keep the monster quiet, if only for a short amount of time, so she fed the monster.
She could feel the morphine rush through her body. She felt its attempt to kill the monster and its disappointment when it could do no more than numb the monster temporarily. She felt her body beg for more. Beg for the small moments of sweet release. The moments were few and far between but she lived for them. At least she used to live for them.
She visited more and more doctors but they couldn’t help her. The more treatments and drugs they gave her, the stronger the monster grew. The harder she fought the monster, the weaker she grew. Her sad mind and heart were now beginning to appear more often than her happy heart and mind. Some days she begged her body to heal. She begged her body to live, to fight, and to beat the monster. Other days, days that were becoming more and more frequent, her body begged for release. She cried to be let go, she prayed she would fall asleep and never awaken. Her emotions were in turmoil as the monster ripped her body to pieces. She was at a crossroads but she didn’t know which way to go.
She would wait. She would hope. She would pray to another unknown entity. She would fight. She would never give in. She would never give up. She was in a bitter fight for her life. She would keep her mind strong even as her body grew frail. Her opponent may be invisible but it would not win. She would win. She would stand tall and strong and straight. Her hair would once again be shiny. Her skin would glow. She hoped she would be with her family in this world when she finally beat the great monster but knew her body was weak. Her body may give out, but her heart, her thoughts, her soul would live on. That one thought gave her peace. She would cling to that tiny feeling of peace.