Pain: Its a Personal Journey

As someone that’s been through many types of pain, and seen many go through their own pains, I can say that it really really does. But pain is a personal journey, that whilst we may be able to sympathise and even empathise with those going through pain, I don’t think we can truly be able to say that we know exactly what a person is going through when they are dealing with, even if we may have gone through similar things to them.

This is because pain is something that builds up upon prior pain & can take a significant amount of time and work for it to no longer be painful.

Whilst thinking through some of my pain earlier on, whilst listening to my wide choice of music, I saw a photo shared that just said

Pain changes people

Some become rude

Some become silent

Not only is the above correct, but some

  • fight others
  • fight themselves
  • fight both themselves & others (negatively because they are angry they got hurt)
  • fight both for and against themselves (catch 22 cycle, especially if they feel they deserved the pain)
  • fight both for and against themselves whilst fighting (positively) for others, because they think they deserved the pain, but still want to make the world around them better than it was before.
  • keep themselves awake at night trying to work through the pain.
  • try to sleep the pain away.
  • will stay up all night and sleep all day
  • will stay up for days at a time, just doing anything and everything they can to take their mind off it.
  • will cry every opportunity they get when they are alone, others only cry a little bit, some through years of conditioning that it’s “soft” to cry, can’t bring themselves to cry at all.
  • try to drink the pain away (more on this in a future post!)
  • dance away the pain (more on this in a future post!)
  • write / draw the pain away.
  • exercise the pain away.
  • game the pain away.
  • travel more / move away.
  • will do a mixture of things that can be deemed either to healthy or unhealthy, depending on who you ask, to allow them to get through the tough times. This can include working every hour their body & work will allow them to.

None will truly forget the pain, they just, in time learn to deal with & accept it in a way that suits them.

As long as they aren’t actively going out their way to hurt others intentionally, should we really care about how they process their pain? Personally I don’t think so, but I can and do see and understand why others can & do think differently. But let me just point out that so many of our favourite artists, have struggled and given us so many amazing things, like photos, paintings, music, poetry, films, clothes & even some of the most amazing bits of technology around too.

Sure we can & should worry, and tell them that we are, but we cannot & should not judge them, especially if they are doing all they can to keep themselves going each and everyday.

But we shouldn’t chastise or demonise them because they may have slipped up, whilst doing all they can to show up, whether that be to work or just spending some time with friends or family & hopefully stop us worrying so much about them.

It says a lot about a person who when going through pain they still forced themselves to work, just like it does for that same person to then turn around and admit they need a break, regardless of how they end up on that break, and doubly more for them to say “I’m ready again” which at that point we need to give them a fighting chance but allow for them to make mistakes, instead of sometimes talking them down to feel like they shouldn’t feel ready, because that is just wrong. But unfortunately it can be incredibly hard for someone that took that break to get back on their feet again, because there’s often a negative association with having taken a break.

But give credit where credit is due!

They’ve been fighting pain, pain that some days may have made them want to end everything, and if they are still here and fighting, this may have been something that they have been going through for hours, days, weeks, months, years, even decades. But they are still fighting and that is something that we should never discredit them for, regardless of how they chose to fight it. You may not agree with their choices, but at the end of the day, whether you agree or not, they chose to fight through the pain & you should have some respect for the fact they did.

Sure you many wish someone going through pain would seek “professional help” but in many cases this is something that isn’t possible until they are ready. Pushing them that way, especially if those professional help services are, like they are in the UK, quite brutally underfunded and have long waiting lists, isn’t as helpful as you may think, especially if they aren’t yet ready to do so.

But yeah, sometimes they’ll let you see their pain

Sometimes they won’t

Sometimes you may cotton on to the fact that they are in pain and struggling, whether they are trying to hide it or not.

Other times you wouldn’t have a clue & they could be one of the closest people you know, because they have built up all these walls & barriers over time to filter it out.

What you see in front of you is often only what they will allow themselves to show you. Unless you can see/hear/feel those little outbursts (which can be even as short as a nanosecond) that the inner self will let out around others from time to time when it’s in pain, which can be a test to see who notices.

Some, like me are more willing & even some are happy to show their struggles so that others can see that they aren’t alone, even if those struggles aren’t quite the same as yours.

All I know, dealing with pain is a personal journey & I will never negatively criticise people’s decision on how they deal with it. I may voice concerns, so that they know I care but having the life experience I have, I know that negative criticism only fuels the fire beneath the pain, it doesn’t do anything in the slightest to help nullify some of it & will only start to make that person stop wanting to come to you with their struggles ever again.

Also when you have caused pain, which I know I have over the years, and for that I deeply regret it having happened, life has taught me that sometimes pain has to find you, even if it’s unfair, because that’s just how the universe works. But when you’ve caused pain on others, it’s only fair that you do all you can to apologise for it.

I’ve helped many hundreds, if not thousands of people, whether that be friends, family or strangers, through their pain journey’s as have many helped me through mine. It’s a human trait to want to look after / look out for those that we know are in pain, especially more so if they are people that matter to us & because of this we easily get protective, which isn’t a bad thing.

It’s 5:01 am, and I saw that picture at about 2:30am, and whilst it was good to get this down, can you tell that tonight is a night that no matter what I was destined not to sleep! But I don’t mind, because this is something that I wanted to get written down for a while now. I hope you have enjoyed the read.

I’m Ryan ( twitter | blog ) a successful IT Consultant & the founder of mhasl and Mental Health Affects Someone Like Me