My eyes really hurt
And for the longest time, I’ve lacked the words
To explain this pain beyond allegories and allusions
To refrain from reducing this story to a conclusion

But to claim this experience has been a lesson
Would only serve to lessen this experience
So if I may be concise and overt…
My eyes really hurt

Nearly two years have since gone by
But I vividly remember that Fourth of July
Squinting as fireworks erupted in the sky
While I felt an unsoothable stinging in my eyes

Despite what I was prescribed
It never went away
The medicines I tried
Never kept it at bay
Though I firmly denied
The pain was here to stay
It’s been so much time
Yet it hurts to this day

I’m relatively young, the ripe age of twenty
Youthful enough to believe I had plenty
Of time before my health would ever fail me
Before I could develop an incurable ailment

So I dismissed the pain, expecting it to vanish
The idea of it lasting a month was outlandish
But it lasted two… three… and then four
Now I don’t bother keeping count anymore

I tried painkillers and eye drops
They helped only a bit
Antibiotics lined my countertops
Didn’t feel any benefits
I took everything the doctors ordered
And they ordered a lot
They said with meds, I’d move forward
But sadly, I did not

Steroids didn’t help much either
Even though I followed procedure
The pain was stronger than every antidote
So I put my faith in online anecdotes

I adjusted my diet, I thought why not try it?
Any product or service advertised, I’d buy it
I was desperate for healing, this hurt I was feeling
Was cruel and unyielding, felt like my fate was sealing

Let me provide specifics
The glands inside my eyelids had shifted
Shriveled and dried to the point of deficiency
I’m well aware this is unpleasant imagery
But I implore you to envision me
With tears that evaporate far too quickly
And blood vessels making my eyes appear sickly

The human cornea is dense with nerves
More sensitive than any other human tissue
So imagine how severely my eyes hurt
When my glands and tears became riddled with issues

My protective tear film was practically gone
So each of my eyes became an open wound
This crippling pain lasted so damn long
My bedroom became the place I cocooned

I slept days away
Relief only came when my eyes were closed
I was put in harm’s way
Simply by waking up with my eyes exposed
For hundreds of days
I was greeted each morning by a whiplash of pain
And each night I prayed
That this terrible season would pass like the rain

But it stayed
The hurt refused to fade
And I was forced to adapt
To a condition that perhaps
Exists due to a drug
I took when I was young
A pill designed to clear up skin
I wish I knew the full extent
Of what all those side effects meant
They say it only hurts one percent
I guess I’m in that one percent

I’d kill to just have bad skin again
How was that my only issue then?
This last year, I’ve suffered greatly
Existing has been daunting lately

Don’t get me wrong, I’m deeply grateful
For my companions and adventures
But when your own two eyes are unstable
It’s hard to appreciate the splendor

I flew to San Francisco to see a friend
The wind stung my eyes for hours on end
My love came to visit me at Christmastime
But the cold was too much, so we remained inside
Returned to Norway after eight long years
As I marveled at the beauty, my pain conjured tears
Even as I continued the necessary treatments
The excruciating hurt was persistent and frequent

I’ve lived more pleasant moments than I can mention
But I wish I could’ve given them more of my attention
There’s mountains and sunsets I saw through aching eyes
My expressions of enjoyment were too often a disguise

My therapist told me
It’s perfectly fine
To mourn the life I once had
I miss the old me
The joy that was mine
Before I tasted anguish this bad

I miss when my car
Was a vessel of freedom
My ticket to the open road
Now I find it hard
To accept that it’s become
A box with harsh air enclosed

I miss when every doorway or window
Wasn’t a passage from safety to peril
Now walking outside when the temperature is low
Causes my eyes to feel painfully sterile

I miss the pleasures of being outdoors
Enjoying a breeze or a morning stroll
But with this condition, I have to account for
All simple pleasures extracting a toll

Even at home
How can I find peace in being alone?
I used to find solace in reading a book
But it hurts just to look
It hurts just to read, to see, to be
I spent so many months being unproductive
When you’re hurting, idleness is so seductive

I’ve learned not to blame myself
My worth is not defined by books on my shelf
Or films in my catalogue
Or trips in my travel log
But I miss when I didn’t have to overcome pain
Simply to partake in the grand or mundane

I miss when my body was fully capable
And I didn’t know how lucky I was
Now this agony is inescapable
God, I miss how easy life was

I miss when every day wasn’t a countdown ’til night
I miss when I didn’t long to simply step outside
I miss when I didn’t feel this stinging in my eyes
I miss when it was less painful just to be alive

I mourn the man who held conversations
Who made fearless creations
As he traversed the nation
And his only focus was on what he beheld
Not the pain he concealed
Not the hurt he withheld

I mourn the child whose injuries would always heal
Whose parents could vanquish the pain he would feel
But ease has become a stranger
Now I’m better acquainted with danger
And I wonder if the life I lived before was even real

But I mustn’t get philosophical
I wish to keep this as honest as possible
There’s a single reality I must comply with
These are the eyes I was born with, and the eyes I will die with
And I’ll try tirelessly to make them heal
But allow me to repeat how I presently feel
Without mincing words…
My eyes really hurt

7 thoughts on “Hurt

  1. Man this is powerful. A “lament” in its truest form. It’s true we “don’t know what we had till we lost it” – and that’s particularly true of health. With you in your pain, and praying for healing!

  2. An additional issue is that video games are typically serious anyway with the major focus on knowing things rather than amusement. Although, it comes with an entertainment part to keep children engaged, each and every game is often designed to focus on a specific expertise or curriculum, such as mathmatical or scientific discipline. Thanks for your article.

  3. Those are yours alright! . We at least need to get these people stealing images to start blogging! They probably just did a image search and grabbed them. They look good though!

  4. Have you ever thought about publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

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