Doomscrolling in Real Time and in Real Life

Sometimes the future “irises” down into a pinprick of almost nothing like when you are injured and in pain. Consideration of the future is blocked by the “oh so present” pain. We are left to reflect on that moment as we try to push out the doomscrolling just enough to know there is at least a murky future.

Doomscrolling in Real Time

I have fallen in the field.

I have re-injured my hamstring.

I have hurt my sciatic nerve.

If you have had that,

You know how

on a pain scale of 1-10

It spikes to 10–



I have fallen in the field

Brainlessly trying to dance on fallen detritus

To chase

A lamb back into the fence.

I can’t move

Having fallen and twisted myself upside down on my back

I see blue skies

And say inside my head,

“It can’t be this bad

With a blue this sweet.”


I have fallen in the field,

The only way home is the truck

Parked in the pasture,

Inert beacon,

And I have no crutch

To help me reach it

and what of the clutch

I must depress to get home?


I have fallen in the field,

So I crawl one knee at a time,

Pain pulsing from 1 to 10

With each ‘step’.

I make under this June blue sky

Sitting in the truck

In abject terror and mutely

doomscrolling my darkest social self:

Will I ever recover

How long will it take

Who will do all my share of the work

How will I get home from the field and

The blue skies

And the doomscrolling

How do stoics do it

How will I do it

How can I keep from making of this a series of wasted days and nights

And on and on and on,

Scrolling through the dooms as we are wont to do.


I have fallen in the field

I have made it home

I have put futile ice and meds at work

Hoping for help,

But time and tide alone will help.

Or it won’t.

You know, having fallen in the field before

and risen up and risen up.


  1. // Reply

    I hope this is not a story about a recent fall, but a compilation of many falls taken in the past, from which you have recovered, with memories of the pain receding into time.

    While I suspect this is a fear that plagues people who work alone, on farms, in woodshops, etc, it’s also one that elderly who live alone, or others living by themselves, often experience.

    Often when I’m working at home and not paying attention to my phone, I’ll look at my text messages and see a scroll of “Dad! Dad! Dad!” from my daughter, who’s worried that I’m OK since I’m not answering the phone.

    I hope all who fall, will find ways to keep rising.

  2. // Reply

    Just so you know, this was a fall I had yesterday and I had one in late April as well. So it is both recent and past. I have had this sciatic problem before. My chiro has been helpful in the past. This time it seems more aggravated and raw so it might just be time and tide is the cure.

    I think what I am trying to do is to show my youngest daughter that I do know and feel a measure of pain. She has had probs with hyperextension as a former ballet dancer so she is well and truly famiiar with my pain.

    I know your daughter’s concern and I know how ‘helpless’ mine feel with the parents and their stubborness. Cussed stubborness like a mule only worse.

    Thanks for responding and caring Dan.

  3. // Reply

    My first reaction: Oy, I hope Terry is OK! Gosh. It sounds painful and scary.
    I hope time does heal you and gets you back to strength.
    My second reaction: Terry wrote a poem about what happened. And shared it.
    We read it as friends, loosely connected here and there, and elsewhere, but still as caring as can be.
    I can’t walk over from Massachusetts to Kentucky and help you out or offer assistance or support, but if I could, I would.

  4. // Reply

    Thanks for being such a fine friend. One of the few but very fine. I am one lucky man.

  5. // Reply

    I’ve been committed to the Internet since the late 90s because of our ability to “walk over” and touch each other, using our screens and devices, rather than cars, trains and airplanes.

    Terry, I started having falls on a consistent basis in the late 2000s. I was never seriously injured but on crutches and a walking boot a few times. In past few years I’ve had no falls, but hold on to rails and take extra precautions. I rarely walk on snow or ice covered sidewalks any more.

    Thanks Kevin for “walking over” and giving encouragement.

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