It is easy to become addicted to pain. After being doused with sleeping injections to sleep off the deep pain, it is easy to start believing that one can forget the pain.
In this case, the pain comes from a my left leg, bruised and shortened from a series of surgeries after a night bus accident that left me hospitalised for six months;seven years gone, and the process of healing continues.
This rambling of mine has holes, and each gap could fill many papers with stories. Began writing this to analyse my response to personal pain, and how I have carried it. I prefer to sleep with the PAIN THAN TO TAKE A PAIN KILLER. The thought that frightens me is the fact that these drugs have addictive substances.
A friend in Bauchi, then an undergraduate in the Ahmadu Bello University, had a drug problem that caused his head to twitch uncontrollably when he talks. Phinobarbiturates and tyre adhesives gum were cheap drugs the students took to get high.
When I was hospitalised in Igbobi, for a broken leg, I took a lot of painkillers to ease the pain. The nurses and doctors did not stop me. My relatives in the UK sent more painkillers. I became hypersensitive and active, casing my environment, spreading joy.
I failed woefully by trying to sleep away the pain, and when I do not succeed, I start working. When the work is not marketable, SILENCE. The work can overwhelm the space around. I still have a very cluttered space that I treasure so much in the house-paper, canvas, photographs and art materials are strewn everywhere around the five feet high refrigerator that doesn’t work. At the other corner of the twelve by twelve feet room is my old two horsepower air conditioner, unused because of the low current that the power company generates.
Like every right thinking Nigeria, I decided years ago that a generator is a must-have item for every home in Nigeria, even if its the small I-pass-my-neighbour Tiger generator that sells for a hundred dollars.
this is what the pain makes you do-drift on different memory lanes. Everything but the…Walking is a burden, and then everyday has a million distractions screaming for one’s attention. Sleep is only a temporary escape from reality, but another good drug is the absorption of the most pleasurable moments of the day-Mass, Relationships, Photography and Painting. And of course, the occasional sketches I make. It is also sad and true that no one even sees the pictures I paint. I wonder at art collectors who patronise me. All these ease the pain.
There is profit in work- an escape from the pain. Sometimes one gains instant gratification. And many times too, one falls flat on his face. Fortunately, life has a lot of empty spaces for one to fit into. Time is passing by, but a middle-ager thinks he still has time. There is a life beyond mere time. A lifetime is ample time, and also small. Time all depends on the individual and how he wishes to experience life.
There is so much to do, and many places to go to, all life is an unfolding book. The pain is in the left hip now, then in my arched neck. I live with it. It will only make me stronger.