A blog by Amanda Alcantara

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Waiting for the virus to leave

I write to turn my pain into something beautiful. I write to record my pain on ink, on a computer screen.

Today I'm sick in various ways and have decided to write about it.

I have a cold, I've had it since Friday night.

At first, when I woke up on Saturday morning with a stuffy nose and pain in my throat, I was actually pleased. You see, the entire week my back had been hurting. I thought that the pain in my back was caused by stress from switching jobs, by stress from life, by lack of exercise. But now I realize that the pain was a pre-symptom and on Saturday morning I welcomed the cold as a relief. I stayed in bed most of the weekend until work came Monday. At work, everything was fine but the cold symptoms started coming back: I was losing my breath while talking on the phone and I was coughing incessantly. That night I went home, drank soup and hoped that the next day the cold would be completely gone. I was wrong, so I called out of work and because it was actually my last day working there, I was told that I didn't have to make up for it.

Now it's Wednesday, and I'm supposed to be going to Florida tomorrow to sulk under the sun. But this cold won't go away. I've tried every medication, I've also had soup and OJ and tea and teaspoons of honey with salt pero nada. So, I stopped by my local Duane Reade, told them everything that I've been having and was told that there's nothing more that they can recommend. Then the young pharmacist said:

"It might be viral."
"What do you mean viral?", I asked.
"It could be a virus so you just have to wait for it to leave your body."

Now, as I'm sitting here I'm surprised by the story that I've just told. I thought I was going to write about the pain of disillusionment. I thought I was going to write about how I'm tired of feeling like I have to be strong, and like I have to uphold myself so that I don't crumble into pieces because of pain and sickness that comes with rejection.

Now I realize that in deciding to move on, I let go of the back pain and now my heartache is like I virus. It doesn't matter how many times I try to escape it by going out dancing, or drinking. It doesn't matter how much I try to practice healing through reading poetry, writing, listening to music, opening up with friends.

This pain is like a virus:
Sometimes I can live with it, and I forget that it's there.
Other times I can't.
Other times, the pain is blinding.
Other times I just want to curl up and be held until it goes away.
And it will leave.
It'll leave when it's ready
It'll leave when my body has processed it.
It will definitely leave. But it needs time. 

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