I had to finally say goodbye to someone very important in my life. Me. The original me. The me I used to be. The me I finally understand that I will never be again completely. If I’m cured by some miracle. If my illnesses go away or into remission. If I get healthy again as quickly as I got so horribly sick. I’ll never be the same person I was. Pain changes people. I went through, and continue to go through a trauma to my body and mind. A death of a loved one can be gotten past eventually. You don’t forget that person ever. You grieve their loss, you miss them, you go through stages of different emotions. In time, you find ways to cope, to fill the loss with memories, with other people, with activity. You don’t hurt so badly and you begin to remember the good times fondly. In chronic pain, you can’t step away or separate yourself from you. It’s a part of you 24/7. Every minute of every day. You feel it, you think about it, you cry, you scream, you rail against it. You can’t get away from yourself. It’s like a cloak that covers you from head to toe. A dark, black, heavy weight. It presses down on you, forces you to keep your head down, bend under the strain. It hurts to smile, so you frown. It hurts to laugh, so you cry. It hurts to reach out to others, so you shut down. There is no escape. Meds can ease it temporarily. Cognitive thinking can help you understand it. Counseling can change how you look at it. But it’s always there. And always will be there. So you have to find coping mechanisms. I’m not there yet. I’ll get there. I’m determined and stubborn. But I still grieve the loss of the person I was. You would have liked her. Most people did. She was smart, funny, personable. She had a quick, dry wit. She loved being around other people. She treasured her friendships and loved her family. She wanted to learn a little about everything. She was smart. She was a good friend and always sympathetic to those in need. Always willing to help others. She was empathetic. She loved to travel and learn everything about new places. She was one of the good ones. I miss her everyday. There is a huge hole in my heart and soul where she used to reside. It will never be filled. The new me is like an infant. Having to learn from the beginning my limits, my goals, my wants and needs. My dreams. I am getting to know myself slowly, a little something new every day. The new me will be okay. Not a pale imitation of the old me. I won’t allow that. I’m still in control. The new me will push and fight to become as strong and happy as the old me. Just not today.