Chasing the Invisible

Ever feel like you are chasing the invisible?  A pain, a nuisance, an infection.  Whatever it may be, it’s a strange enigma to chase down something you can’t actually put your finger on.  Sometimes it takes someone looking into the situation to figure it all out for you and point out what was right in front of you the whole time.  I have several examples of this phenomena in my life lately.

Sometime last year I began to feel tapped.  Not in the tapped-out sense or the tapped-for-something great scene.  No, this was more like how my pain specialist explained back and neck pain to me years ago.  I was injured in a car accident years ago and still feel the pain of it, some days more than others.  Regardless, when I was being aggressively treated for the pain a few years ago I was speaking with my pain specialist about my frustration that such a small area of pain could cause such disruption in my daily life.  I have a high tolerance for pain and normally just try to ignore it or work through it.  This was very different.  I couldn’t put my finger on it.

My doctor explained it this way:  When someone is tapping you on the shoulder, you respond by looking at them, acknowledging their presence, and moving away from the sensation of the tapped spot on your shoulder.  However, if that person continued to tap on your shoulder, it would become annoying and difficult to ignore.  Further, if the tapping continued for months on end, you might be brought to the brink of sanity trying to deal with the pain and distraction it had brought into your daily living.  This was the answer.  This was exactly how I was feeling.  I couldn’t ignore the pain any longer, I couldn’t get rid of it, and had to just come to terms with it so I could go through my daily routines without its constant disruption.

Last year I was experiencing this tapping with a person, not pain, but with much the same resulting disruption – albeit emotional and not physical.  Yet, I have to take that back.   It was physical because our emotions cause physical reactions within our bodies and I was feeling something that took me a few months to actually figure out.  It was like that tapping finger…I was being tapped.  I just couldn’t figure out why small things that were said and done would set me off into a depressive reaction and make my body feel unhealthy.  Remarks and actions that seemed so trivial, so off-handed, so passive were getting to me.  The upset feeling continued and once again I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

Much like the revelation that the doctor caused when he explained my pain cycle, someone helped me understand this feeling.  I suddenly realized that I was permitting this person to continually tap my shoulder.  Allowing this person to cause disruption and unhealthy reaction in my daily life.  It had to stop.  But how?  When someone is your friend, you take the good with the bad, and accept them for who they are….but, what if they aren’t accepting you as you are?  Ah hah.  That was it!  Slowly, I realized that I knew what I had to do for my daily health.

I was at the doctor’s office today chasing the invisible yet again.  Unlike the pain from the accident years ago, or the person who didn’t actually want to be in my life and was showing me doors to open so that person could leave;  This is an infection.  Invisible (to the naked eye) and so darned tough to catch.   My eyes suffered for 3 days and antibiotics finally had to show the infection the door.  Then it decided to move downstairs into my nose and throat.  Before it could take up permanent residence, the doc put me on a stronger antibiotic which will take a full ten days.   I normally avoid antibiotics as much as possible so as to avoid misuse and unneeded treament, but this was different.  I could feel the tapping, it was already annoying, and soon to be something that had to leave my daily life or I would be driven to distraction.

Chasing the invisible isn’t easy.  Figuring out what direction you need to look, what path to take, and figuring out what is really happening often requires an outside viewpoint.  Choose a wise set of outside eyes and ears to partner with you for any expedition you take in the future ’cause chasing the invisible isn’t something you should do alone.