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The Pain Junkie
So things aren’t going so well today? What’s hurting? Head, heart, stomach, joints, limbs, chest or something or somewhere else? How often do you feel like this? Is it a long term problem, short term, just begun or have you been carrying this for as long as you can remember? What causes it? What do you do or what happens in life to make you feel this way? How long do you allow the pain to stay?
I know there will be some out there with the physical illnesses that can be seen, touched, felt but I am speaking to those experiencing the ones no-one can see as you do, the ones that begin in your head but manifest themselves elsewhere too, the ones that you cover up or only share with those very few around you that understand. I am talking to those suffering with mental health issues, depression, anxiety, PTSD.
I am no expert and I apologise if I don’t see this as you would like or as you experience it, but I have been there and I know what I felt like, I know what I experienced and that is all I can give you.
Why the heading of the pain junkie? Honestly I don’t know. As I go through my day I know I need to write and the rest just comes. This is not some thought out, drafted blog – this is as thoughts come to me and I know that when I lived each day with depression this is what I became – a Pain Junkie. Not because I wanted pain or because I needed it in my life – believe me I lived every minute wishing it would go away and leave me alone – BUT at least with the pain I felt something. That had to be better than feeling nothing at all – imagine if you can having no emotion, about anything, nothing at all.
I would be grateful each day for the headaches, the exhaustion from lack of sleep, the throbbing ache of my joints, the tightness in my chest and the erratic heartbeat. I would be grateful because that meant I was still alive and I was experiencing something of life even if not in a very positive or productive form. I wanted pain because that meant I hadn’t yet taken the last step over the cliff. It meant I, my body, my mind and my soul still had enough fight left inside to give me hope.
With time, learning skills such as breathing, meditation for focus and finding space to let my thoughts be still and the inordinate amount of support from those who didn’t really know me at all but could see and empathise with my pain, I found my way through. Having people who didn’t know the old me, the me I used to be, somehow helped because they weren’t getting frustrated with who I had become and couldn’t tell me to “pull myself together” or “you will get back to where you were”. I didn’t want to do either of those things.
The stubborn me wanted more, the inner me knew I was so much more than I had ever been and the core of me stored all that I needed to persevere and beat this. I didn’t want who I had been, I simply wanted to be the me I was born to be, the me I could be, the bigger, better, more positive me – the happy me. Even on my darkest day I knew I was better than this. Bigger than the darkness. Stronger than the thoughts in my head. More courageous than the ones who gave up on me. So I wanted to feel that pain to remind me every single day that I could do this and could not give up.
Your pain can be your friend. It can be the one who stands by your side and gives you the strength and the courage to take another baby step forward. But, in time, friends may change, some have to change, some came with no invitation and must leave with no explanation. Acceptance of this is paramount. Pain can be your friend but pain cannot be allowed to stay. Pain in the end has to be evicted from the building it has lived in and gently moved on.
Why? Because we cannot be dependent, we cannot have a live in friend who eventually stops being a positive and turns into a festering worm making its way round your body and your mind and taking over your life completely. There is a fine line and you must be aware and you must be in control.
Be a Pain Junkie if it serves you but always be aware that when it becomes an unwelcome guest you are the one in control and must be ready to say goodbye. You can and will do this…. I have faith and I believe in you.
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