Dealing with Pain

The other day, I wanted to know why loss was so painful.

It sounds so funny to say that- a wanting to know why, instead of being caught up in experiencing the pain; but at the time all I wanted to do was make sense of it, so that I could try my hardest to not feel it. But of course, when you’re living in it, you can’t separate emotions, or maybe you can, but it would take a whole lot to push past those feelings. Its only now when the emotions have died, that you get a chance to think about it.

I think- the feeling of loss is the hardest kind of pain because its something you can never quite prepare yourself for. Now pain, you can prepare for, you can put up walls, guards, protective gear, and double shields, but for loss, its an altogether different story. Because loss is sudden, its a shock, it strips you of something. No matter how many times over you recount the moment, Its the one that never quite makes sense.

In general, people can endure a great amount of pain when they feel there’s a justified reason for it. Missionaries and martyrs come to mind- People that will go through great lengths of personal sacrifices because they know it is all for a purpose, and that call to arms is greater than the pain.

The pain of loss is never justified and perhaps never will be. No reason will ever explain to a grieving mother, widow, child, why their loved one was taken. ” She was such an angel, that’s why the Lord took her to be in His arms” is not a good enough reason, no matter how well-meaning it is. No reason is when you’re comforting someone who has lost, and I think that’s the greater pain- to have no explanation.

Thinking about it now, I don’t even remember why I was in pain, but not remembering the reason doesn’t mean you don’t remember the moment.

I remembered an article once that said, pain was a natural occurring phenomena in our bodies that lets us know our limits, so that we don’t hurt ourselves further. I don’t fully subscribe to this reason, not that it doesn’t make sense, but I just think there is more to it. I don’t believe that pain is merely used as a test of faith or character, though it very well is used to build one. I just think that if that’s the only reason, then its not enough for me.

Now there are many different kinds of pain; and the best kinds (if there were even a “best”) are the kinds of hurt you can laugh off. Like when you’re walking with your friends and you walk into a wall/glass door/ overhead panel, there’s a round of laughter from your friends, but in general they know how to help you get back up again, and you proceed ‘like a sir’.

Perhaps there’s even a good pain, something that stirs you to action. Before this, I had listened to a painful song which helped inspire the will to write. There was a minor key, an emptiness in the sound, a harmonized drawl, all coming from a pained soul, with pained words sung by a pained voice. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. We’ve all heard this song before.

So you want to know how I deal?

I used to use sleep as a coping mechanism, but nowadays that fails. So sometimes when I’m angry and hurt, I don’t breathe.

Of course it doesn’t last very long, but I find myself involuntarily finding a way to stop the breathing. My muscles contract, and my heart beats faster in its struggle for air. Then I let go, air escapes my lungs, and I like to think my heart restarts again, making its way to a somewhat normal pace.

Sometimes in my weakness I let go and all I do is stop breathing to find my way back to that restart.

I find it helps.

-An entry off my notes from February 6th


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