Pain doesn’t go away. It doesn’t ever stop. At best, it changes. It doesn’t go anywhere…it waits patiently. Silently and boldly waiting to be addressed. Waiting for it’s time to be seen. Patiently knowing it’s time will come.
Pain hides itself in the shadows, waiting for its moment to make itself known. It will be at the worst time, it will hurt, and it will demand to be felt.
The more you ignore it, the bigger it gets. The more you shove it down, hide it behind the shadows, diminish its existence…the harder it will come for you.
It’s not going anywhere. It gains strength in the shadows. You think you’re hiding it, you think you’re living your life while successfully ignoring the depths of your pain….
But you’re not.
Pain gains strength in the darkness. It thrives there. It gets bigger and darker and harder to overcome. Pain is terrified of the light. Terrified of being addressed…of being confronted. Terrified of being seen. And most of all…honesty and community.
Pain absolutely shrivels in the face of that. We think it’s best…you and I. The sufferers. We think it’s best to ignore it and stuff it down. Pretend it doesn’t exist, that the shadows actually imply nonexistence. We’ve been taught that the only thing to do in the face of pain and burden is to ignore it.
Our pain doesn’t matter. It isn’t valid.
But….isn’t it? I know we’ve been told that time and time again…but hang on. The pain is still here. If it wasn’t valid…why is it still creeping in the shadows?
Why is it there when I close my eyes at night? Why is it the content of my nightmares?
See, your logic must surely be flawed here, universe. Because, in fact, hiding my pain has not actually ever resolved it.
It’s still here. It’s still growing.
You keep telling me to ignore it….
But I’m just not convinced.
I didn’t sign up to suffer. I didn’t agree to a life of pain and torture.
This isn’t what I want, this isn’t what I chose.
So where do we go from here? Last week I suggested that someone plug in a nightlight.
Tonight I think I’m suggesting I need a torch. I need some light to combat this darkness. I can’t fight the pain…the pain and the hurt hiding in the shadows, if I’m still afraid of the dark. Afraid of what I’ll find…of what I’ll feel once I get there.
This isn’t a singular battle. Like I said before. Pain shrivels with community. With honesty and with boldness.
You want the pain to stop. Desperately, more than anything…you wish it away.
But this isn’t something that can be wished away.
This is something that has to be fought.
This isn’t the fight for one soldier alone. That’s a suicide mission at best. This is a fight for an army. This fight to stop the pain has been in the workings for decades now. Nearly my entire life.
I’m looking for my army. Maybe it’s an army of just a few strong people, maybe it’s within a large community of smaller voices.
I’m gaining numbers, but the pain in the shadows is gaining strength even faster.
Tonight is not your night, pain. You and my empty glass are screaming at me to submit to you. And shit…I fucking want to.
More than anything, I want to submit to you….to listen to your voice telling me to drink more. To make the wrong choices in the name of escaping you.
But tonight I recognize you for what you are. I see you.
I’m hurting. I’m in pain. I feel alone and I feel just a little bit desperate for relief. I’m closer to giving up than I’d ever care to admit. I no longer see any light. Everywhere I look is pain and shadow and darkness.
I’m scared of it all. It’s terrifying. I want so much better. I know things have to change. Shit, I even know how to get there. But I can’t.
Because the fear and the loneliness are all I can see and hear.
At least for tonight…I see it. And, pain…tonight I feel you. But I will not let you win.
So why is it that I’m still not sure I want tomorrow to come?