Just insane – an extract from ‘Farther from the Sun’.

“We’ve checked everything out,” the consultant explained with a hint of exasperation, scanning through my notes. “We have found nothing untoward.”

I couldn’t fault them. They had taken me seriously and given me every test they could. I felt a fraud. They’d spent thousands on me and come up with nothing.

Yet I still felt that there had to be something. I still had this nagging pain. It was similar to how my Dad had first reported his illness. Part of me accepted that it was an illusion, created by tension, exactly as the consultant had explained it. My mind was responding to my Father’s illness. I knew that but I couldn’t help thinking that there was something they’d missed. This pain was nagging at my mind, dragging me down. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t focus on anything. It was always there. Could that really be imaginary?

The consultant certainly thought so. They’d carried out all the tests and there was nothing to see. Yet he was not angry. He didn’t seem annoyed or at all short with me.

“I think you’ve got a stress-related pain. I think you have tensed up and created a cramp. Then you’ve worried about it and tensed up more and your stress has maintained it.”

It made sense to me.

“You need to be reassured. You’ve had all the tests and they are all negative. We haven’t missed anything. You need to relax. You’re alright. The pain will gradually go away. It’s muscular!”

I nodded. “Thank you,” I murmured. I could still feel the pain but I knew I had to put it to one side.

I did.

Over the next couple of months, it gradually faded and I stopped worrying about it. I wasn’t going to die.

I still get that same pain occasionally but now that I don’t think it’s going to kill me it fades away.

The strange thing about it, looking back, was that nobody thought to send me to a psychiatrist. That’s probably what I needed. I was merely reacting to my Dad’s death all along. It would have saved a lot of other expensive tests.

There again, that might not have been such a good idea. Who knows what a psychiatrist might have uncovered?



Happiness is writing, when that writing is flowing out of what is in your head there is a state of total focussed satisfaction.


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