I just read your short story, "Freefall." I thought it was pretty cool. I especially like your style of characters and dialogue. The story wasn't what I expected. But that is what makes reading your stories so much fun. You are full of suprises!
I have Trigeminal Neuralgia, which is also called "The Suicide Disorder." The pain is on the left side of my face and the trigeminal nerve runs from ear to eye to jaw. Sometimes, it will be so bad, I'll think I have an ear infection. Hot compresses only help a little. I don't like pain killers much either, but I also have migraines. I take Ultram or Tramadol four times a day and I finally have peace! Once in a while, I'll skip a dose or two if I don't feel the pain coming. But if I run out, it's Hell to pay and I understand suicide. After all, I am Bipolar! I do all nighters and then have periods of feeling worthless and wonder what I am doing here.
My face is starting to hurt and it's time for my Bipolar night time meds I take at bedtime. I take Ambien, Tramadol, Trazadone and zyprexa and sometimes valium. I carry on fine with that many drugs on board. I've been taking them for so many years, I have a tolerance. It's when I'm not taking my meds that people think something is wrong with me.