Pain. That’s probably one of the most dreaded words on the planet. Pain. The sound of it makes me cringe. It’s emotional. It’s physical. It can numb you from head to toe and take away your ability to think or act rationally. Pain – that’s the word. But what is it really?

The doctors often say, “Rate the pain you’re feeling from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest.” I have never said 10. Because I know nothing I will ever feel is 10. There’s always something worse right around the corner. It’s like education. The older you get, the worse it becomes. But you also understand that everything in the past was just a preparation for the present. And the present is preparing you for the future.

Because pain is evergrowing.

Like the moment you watch your perfect family crumble and fall. Your world stops and you think the worst has happened, only to realize that it is a permanent fall and can never be rebuilt.

Like feeling hope for the first time in years when someone promises not to walk away and watching that hope crash as you sit on your bed, clutching your phone and sobbing silently.

Like giving up on a dream. Giving up on your five year plan for no fault of yours.

Like heartbreak. You think you’ve figured it out after the first time. You understand what it is. You can handle it. And then the second one happens and it’s ten times more than what you could have ever imagined.

Like the very second after you’ve said “I love you” for the first time and the person on the other end pauses. Your hope sinks with every tick on the clock and yet you feel so unprepared for the “Hmm” that you think you heard in a hallucination but was reality.

Like that little eight year old girl sitting on a couch while her aunt called her “a brave kid” and she grinned – a fake grin – to cover up the stab she felt deep inside her. The need to be anywhere but there. To wake up from the nightmare. To have someone tell her that this is not her life, this is not her childhood.

Pain. When you’re four, you think the scratch on your feet is horrible. Then you get bruised and it leaves a scar. Eventually it becomes ligament tears. And then broken bones. One fine day, you’re struggling to get out of bed because every part of your body hurts. Everything feels painful. But it doesn’t mean the world is over. You don’t give up on school because your classes got harder. Like you don’t stop living because the pain got worse. You go on. You learn to put one foot in front of the other and walk it off.

Because sometimes, pain is good.

Pain lets you appreciate happiness. It teaches you the value of those small moments in life. It helps you learn the concept of empathy. It brings people with similar battles together. It gives you wisdom. It makes you stronger. And when looked at right – Pain gives purpose to life. Maybe pain was created, not to sink us, but to let us help others who are going through the same thing. Maybe pain was meant to irk a positivity that I have failed to see for a very long time now. It’s the only thing you can do about pain without creating a more traumatic experience for the people who love you. Maybe that’s why the word exists to explain that emotion.

Maybe PAIN is just an abbreviation of – Positive. Attitude. Is. Necessary.

Maybe that’s why, like positivity, pain cannot be killed. Pain cannot be willed away. Pain cannot be destroyed. Pain cannot be ignored.

“Pain Demands To Be Felt”

– John Green

Inspired by the comment by Ceolittle :

“I was feeling down today kinda lost what the real meaning of life is all about through all the pain”

56 thoughts on “P.A.I.N

  1. samratkel says:

    Very insightful piece. I think of the pain I suffer as both a punishment and a gift – you are right it does heighten the appreciation for pain free days or a thoughtful helping hand offered by others. I like that you cited your inspiration and then put your own spin on it.

  2. Kassie says:

    Maybe that’s why, like positivity, pain cannot be killed. Pain cannot be willed away. Pain cannot be destroyed. Pain cannot be ignored.

    I love this. Fantastic perspective, thank you!

  3. brettfish says:

    Wow, beautiful piece, thanks for sharing. How you managed to switch from something so dark and, well, painful and end it as a call to hope – i particularly liked this line: Maybe pain was created, not to sink us, but to let us help others who are going through the same thing. Loved the ending and trust that as you hope and look forwards you will encounter moments and people who turn those first few stories on their head and give you reason to write a deep heartfelt piece called Joy one day.

    brett fish

  4. taris19 says:

    Positive. Attitude. Is. Necessary. = Pain I love how you put that together. Very nice writing in this pain. We all feel pain sometimes but, we have to think positive through it. You explained this perfectly. I love it. I’m going to reblog it and read some more of your posts. I meant to do this yesterday. 🙂

  5. hollyjonson says:

    I posted an entry on December 1st too, that was of a related theme to this one. Definitely different, but related enough that It feels very serendipitous to have stumbled upon your article so soon after I got WordPress. Thanks for posting.

  6. annap12333 says:

    I like your post makes you think about the life in varies ways that you should appreciate what you have although not always is pain free and hurtful…I will say that what you said in the blog about pain gives you awareness to change your life for the better evaluate review and act on it…Sometimes we cannot control what happens but the pain as you said can make us realize to change something about our lives…work hard and take care of ourselves look after ourselves better…. Thank you for the post it is wonderfull made me think about my experiences bad and good ones….

  7. mkmacinnes says:

    Wow, I love your insights and your writing style, both in this piece and the one before about the people we leave behind. I am very much looking forward to reading more …

  8. Mariella Hunt says:

    For many years I had very bad Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which meant I couldn’t do what I love–write–without unleashing pain for hours. The doctors told me to stop. It was an awful year of actually debating giving up this dream, but I was a rebel and ignored the doctor. I had the surgeries, and even after that it continued to hurt for many years. But now it seems the pain has gone away, and years of sacrifice/discomfort were really only there to teach me a lesson in passion and not to give up. Pain isn’t always bad. Pain always has a reason.

    Beautiful post. 🙂

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