On pain

Writing about pain is an act of hope for me. It may sound a bit deranged but it’s the absolute truth. Hiding pain is what’s habitual and detrimental. Putting on a good face. Pretending you’re ok when you’re not. Now that’s how you alienate yourself from yourself. And the pain of that is a thousand times worse than the original pain.

The injuries I have suffered weren’t physical. Yet the bruising process is the same on spirit and mind as it is on physical tissue. You get black and blue. It may not be visible to the naked eye, but it is visible to the open eye. I recognize it all the time on so many people. The disconnected wires. The thousand yard stares. The heaviness of every steps. The pain in so many incarnations.

I’ve had a few breakdowns in the last couple of days. The full fledge kind, the ones that take me down to the wailing core of my pain. I wanted to record them, but it wasn’t possible. I couldn’t bring myself to interrupt the process, going there was too important to risk compromising. The only way out is the way through. That used to be my motto. That’s how I got to be what I am now.

It’s immensely scary to go all the way down to where you can go through. It feels like drowning, and your instincts first want to kick you back up. But then somehow you find the inner strength to dive into the whirlpool, or maybe you just let yourself get sucked in. And then you pray, as you shake and sob and feel like you’re going through the wringer, and you’re scaring the neighbors half to death as you’re letting the pain out through screams and tears and sweat. Then at some point you stop, mostly because you’re exhausted. Nothing else takes more energy in my experience. But you did it, you released a layer of pain, a layer of imprisonment, a layer of hell from within yourself. And now you’re this much more free, this much more alive, this much more capable of joy and love. But first you need a nap or piece of chocolate, or ideally both.

When you go through a meltdown like that, you so want to say, and she lived happily ever after. Nothing ever works like that though. So you have to settle for the knowledge that, if you made it through this round, you’ll make it through the next. Even if the next is in a few hours, or tomorrow, or next week. At some point, the next round is unforeseeable, because you’re just doing so well. And it was so worth it, because living like this is so much better. And it will be worth going through again, when the time comes.

It’s hard to describe how much writing this is good for me. I can feel it on a biological level. It’s affecting my cells, like some sort of anti-inflammatory drug. And it’s more than just my body. It’s mending the seams of my soul that feel torn apart.

7 thoughts on “On pain

  1. What you so eloquently describe sounds almost like something out of Dante…or one of those walkthrough games where every level presents a new challenge. You have to keep going, even though you are tired and wish it to be over. But you press on, and persevere for the end you know will come some day. Keep going.

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    1. Isn’t it interesting, how you can choose how you tell the story, in order to make it be the adventure you need it to be? You’re the author of your story, which is how you can recast your role as a victim, and land the role of the hero instead.

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  2. Along that concept makes me wonder if you are victim, hero and author all the time anyway. It sounds like an inheritance. Thank you both again for your beautiful writings. Makes me very much aware English is not my native tongue…

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    1. So true, and I love the idea of inheritance brought to this. How an inheritance comes from others but becomes yours, in the turning point of ownership. And I agree that we are victim, hero and author all at once. Another trinity, the one of perspective. Thank you for adding these images to the conversation, I’d say the fact that English is not your native language isn’t getting in the way of your communication at all!

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  3. Haha well Thank you! But my message is that even in the deep down depression you are in, you are actually still creating beauty, as does Robert. I long ago learned that languages are about communication. Even if you need hands and feet, communication is much more useful than a collection of syllables. My English serves perfectly for communication and you create something far beyond that. And I can enjoy. Thank you! And be aware of the hope in the creation!

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  4. Emotional violence is often transmitted silently and the most insidious difficulty for those who suffer from its impact is to recognise the harm they are experiencing. Whenever a child is subjected to suppressed or overt rage, chances are the toxic energy of that rage is absorbed on a cellular level that is incomprehensible and unknowable to the child. The incorporated rage results in a chronic low level background anxiety which haunts the child and later the adult (as anxiety and depression) until a cathartic release occurs. Old souls sometimes undergo this suffering in the first part of their lives – a painful metamorphosis which ultimately deepens a compassionate nature. You are wise to openly address this suffering Rain, such acknowledgement quickens the process. In the meantime, you have lost sight of the joy which is central to who you are. The joy that is transmitted in your creative endeavours.

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    1. I can still feel the joy inside, it’s like a chocolate core, you know it’s there even when you can’t see it. There’s just a lot of spiderwebs in the way these days, maybe I need to do some cleaning. And yes to the way emotions get absorbed and how when that happens, they remain undigested, and stay stuck. So much of my trauma recovery work has been about that, and still is. Everything I do is an attempt to heal and free and get to the chocolate core.

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