Living In Hell

By David J. Stewart | September 2011

       I had neck surgery in 2009. It didn't take away my neck pain and stiffness, but it didn't make me worse either; so I was eager to jump into a 2nd surgery. I wish to God I had never got the 2nd surgery in 2010, but under the same circumstances I would have done it again because of the pain I was suffering in. When I came back home from my 2nd surgery my arms felt doubled in size. I was like "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God, I can't live like this, my arms feel like puffed-up robots arms." It's been 1 1/2 years now and my arms still feel doubled in size all the time.

At first I was panicky, overwhelmed and seriously thinking about suicide, because there is nothing anyone can do to help me. My spinal cord is permanently damaged! I've learned to accept to ailment, my condition, my hell on earth. I am clumsy and knock things over. My fingers tingle all the time, like I've been using a floor-sander for an hour. I've said this to encourage anyone who is feeling hopeless and down. My right leg feels half asleep all the time. I take 160 mg. of Oxycontin daily for chronic, raw, dull, agonizing, neck pain.

But do you know what I do to help me cope with my hellish reality? I look at poor guys like this paralyzed man, who for 23 years laid helpless in a bed, thought to be a complete vegetable, ignored by doctors and by his family, and he couldn't even blink to let anyone know he was still aware and conscious. Talk about hell on earth. My suffering isn't as bad as what this poor guy has endured, and continues to endure. He's only 46 years old and completely paralyzed...

Please understand that I'm NOT saying something like, "Other people have it worse than you, so deal with it!" I would NEVER say something cruel like that to anyone. Your suffering is valid and real, and not to be compared to anyone else's pain and suffering, because everyone is unique and different. You have every right to feel down, lonely, broken hearted, and sad. I know what it's like to have a feeling of horror come over my soul at times. I don't mean to sound like a Bible-thumper, but I can relate to Genesis 15:12, "And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him." Abram (later to be named Abraham) felt horror over his soul.

King David said in Psalm 142:7, "Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me." David's soul was in prison. In Psalms 13:2 David cried to God, "How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?" David had sorrow in his heart daily. David felt that his soul was in prison. Abraham had horror come over his soul. I know what it feels like to have these overwhelming feelings. When they occur, I just exist. Don't do anything, just exist. And then when I feel a little bit better I think about David and Abraham, and that poor guy who's paralyzed from head-to-toe 24/7. I know things could always be worse.

I think a very good therapy is to purchase the King James Bible on DVD and listen to it at home. sells them and also. I listen to the Psalms and Proverbs while I'm sleeping. I turn the volume just high enough to where my mind can understand it, but not too high to keep me awake. I'm not religious, but the Bible has helped me through some very difficult times. The Bible contains the promises of God, thousands of them, and the deepest sadness and sorrow can be dealt with if you have some promises from God to cling to.

God promises that all the sad, tragic, and bad things in one's life will work together for good for the Christian...

Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..."

God promises a new body for the Christian believer...

Philippians 3:21, "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."

God promises to give us all things in eternity...

Romans 8:32, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"

Jesus told us to be of good cheer, because He has overcome this world triumphantly and we have a hope in Christ of eternal life...

John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

This is what helps me overcome major depression, that is, dwelling upon the PROMISES of God. If you don't believe in Jesus Christ, I still care about you, and would simply say that you are loved by God.

Do you know why this world is so messed up? It's because people choose evil instead of good and other people suffer for it. When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened to good and evil. God said, "Ok, from now on you will make your own decisions, since that is what you want; BUT, you will also suffer the consequences of your decisions." Mankind has been choosing to do evil for money for millenniums, and it is the root of all evil today, just as the Bible says in 1st Timothy 6:10. Every generation must discover the truth for itself. The world is once again becoming as it was in the days of Noah before the flood (Matthew 24:37-38). The love of many are waxing cold as Jesus foretold (Matthew 24:12).

When I went for my 1st surgery, I honestly told the nurse, "You are the only family I have." She got scared and left. I cried and said, "God, you are the only family I have." I live alone and have for years now. I am afflicted in pain and misery 24/7 and it makes me irritable and miserable. Few people have the understanding and patience to live with someone who is messed-up up physically, crabby all the time, and irritable. Pain does that to you. The chronic pain and stiffness in my neck is close to my head, so it affects my mood a lot. It feels like someone has their foot on my spinal cord, and like someone is sawing the bone in half (causing dull, agonizing, raw pain in the bony area of the back of my neck). Somehow, God's grace sees me through.

When I went for my 2nd surgery in 2010, I told the nurse right after my surgery, "I am very lonely." She replied, "I've never heard that one before" and left the room. Tears ran down my face as I told God how lonely I was. I was still coming out of anesthesia and I remember the neck pain was excruciating and I had a hard neck brace around my neck. I wanted to die right there! But God saw me through. I could write a big book about my miserable life and all the nightmares I've endured at the hands of people. People equal pain. But do you know what? God does care (1st Peter 5:7). At the end of this life all that matters is what God thinks about us, and not what anybody else thinks. Romans 8:34, "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." If you are in Christ, you are invincible once you leave this world. People can condemn us to our grave, but only God can condemn us to hell forever. If we are trusting in Christ for salvation, then there is no condemnation (Romans 8:34).

We like people for their good qualities, we hate them for their faults; but we love them because God tells us to in the Bible. I won't hate anyone. Forgiveness is greater than vengeance. God is going to judge every person even for the words they speak (Matthew 12:36).

I'm done writing here. I hope something I may have said will encourage someone. Both of my arms feel like the "Rock' Em Sock 'Em" robot arms from a game I had as a kid. You'd knock the other robots head off and it was spring-loaded. The robot's arms were gigantic. That's how my arms feel all the time. It's certainly something to get depressed about if I let it, but you can't drive forward while looking out your rear-view mirror. I don't want to go through life complaining that I'm a victim all the time. My eyes are blurry from the medications. My fingers have sharp shooting pain in them from my neck. I have peripheral neuropathy, radiculopathy and stenosis of the spinal cord.

I battle depression every single day of my life, but I'm learning to think about God's promises of a better life when this life is over IN GOD'S TIME. You only live once.

My favorite secular singer is Brad Delp from Boston. I love the man's voice. He sadly committed suicide in March of 2007, leaving only a note that read, "I am a lonely soul." I instantly related to that, because I am also a lonely soul. Brad was only 55 years old. I think he missed his family. My wife divorced me in 2006. I cried and begged her not to, but she wanted out. I still love her, but she said she doesn't love me anymore. It hurts.

I know the pain of loss. I am living in hell. In fact, I'm not living, I'm surviving. My kids are all 18 now. I am all alone. My neck pain; tingling, burning, and puffiness in my limbs hinders me from having much of a social life (hence the internet). It's difficult to even go to church. I look so depressed and miserable, being in pain all the time. Most people don't understand and I have to explain my situation to everyone, over and over... who, what, where, when, how and why. Oh how people love to get into your business. It really gets tiring. My 1800 mg. of Gabapentin and 160 mg. of Oxycontin drain all the life out of me. I'm tired all the time.

Anyway, God bless you whoever you may be, and you can make it, yes you can. We are in this suffering journey together, brothers and sisters in pain. No one knows your pain except you, and never let anyone discourage you because of it.

People cannot see my nerve damage, burning, tingling, puffiness, and pain. They think I'm exaggerating because they cannot see anything. It hurts me when people do that, but I know it's human nature not to believe what you can't see. If they were with me 24/7 they'd see how miserable I get each day at home. I often need to close my eyes when talking with people for a lengthy conversation, because of the pain in my neck. I close my eyes to focus. Physical neck pain has totally changed my life, adversely affecting every aspect of my life. Pain caused my divorce. Pain prevents me from finding someone else. Pain keeps me from going to church as much as I'd like to. Pain keeps me from having a life. No surgeons can help me (and I've seen a dozen in 7-years). One day at a time, just like the song says... one day at a time

The Promise of Eternal Life

The Bible tells us that salvation comes only to those who enter through the DOOR into Heaven. John 10:1, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” This door is the STRAIGHT GATE which leadeth unto life...

Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

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