I woke this morning in excessive amounts of arthritis pain. My left elbow has not been working well for a month. My lower back is always painful after a restless night’s sleep. Neither of my knees is willing to do the basic job required of knees in the early morning when you first wake up. So I had to work joints back and forth to loosen them up despite the pain. I had to stretch parts where muscles were knotted up in protest to stretching. And it took me a half hour of painful work to get on my feet.
I have been psychologically in pain of late as well. Being a school teacher who dedicated his life to getting young people to work together and grow up and mature, I have been deeply distressed by both the police shootings of innocent black men and the massacre of policemen here in Dallas. My publishing goals have also hit a brick wall with recent rejections and cancelling of contracts. I need to curl up in a corner and lick my wounds.
When I was a child I relied on stuffed animals to make me feel better when I was sick and in pain. I had a toy tiger that was my constant companion. I had a couple of teddy bears, one a panda, the other Smokey the Bear. And there was a terrycloth pink elephant that I shared with my sisters. Like many children, I talked to the stuffed animals. Like a strange few other children, the stuffed animals would answer back. I think that plays a large part in explaining why I am a writer of fiction stories. I medicate my mind not with drugs, but by talking things out with imaginary people.
At this moment in time, when I am on the verge of being overwhelmed, it is a good thing that my hoarding disorder has caused me to collect stuffed toys. I have more than one magical teddy bear to turn to. Everything will be all right in the end.