Pain hides in the shadows, waiting for it’s moment.

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?

3 thoughts on “Pain hides in the shadows, waiting for it’s moment.”

  1. Ashley L. Peterson – Canada – I'm the author of four books: Psych Meds Made Simple, Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, Managing the Depression Puzzle, and A Brief History of Stigma. These are informed by my professional experience as a former pharmacist and mental health nurse, as well as my lived experience of major depressive disorder. My goal with Mental Health @ Home is to challenge mental illness stigma and provide a safe space for open dialogue to empower others to share their voices.


    1. rapepoetryhealing – I’m a professional woman that was raped. I deal with rape yet I was raped. The reality of rape and its effects is so underestimated and policies and practices are very outdated. I come from a loving family home. I was brought up in safety and with trust. I travelled the world, did many things that were new and adventurous. I got married and divorced, had a child, the usual things. I met a man who I went out with for three months and one lovely day having had a cup of tea two days later I woke up in a random car park having lost two days of my life drugged with something called diphenhydramine and some GHB. Yet despite this life defining moment I choose to learn and grow and use this experience to help myself understand and to also help others understand that this was not the end of my life but another perspective I had not taken into consideration. I hope by sharing this journey this will help multi agency professionals realise it does happen to successful women and it could happen to anyone. It doesn’t make it right. It just is. If everyone has the courage to help others learn then this will help the learning and support process which from my experience is bloody dire out there lol! I still have my humour! Infact my humour is the one gift that has developed in all this!

      Pain is part of being human. If we can connect at this level with one other person that will see us then this is the lightbulb – where our pain then is diminished as we can then share it outside of ourselves. We can never make pain go away as it’s part of our very core – our survival mechanism. I love the words you use to provide imagery of your pain and I see it very clearly. It’s those that cannot see it sometimes that are in a dangerous place. I say pain stands for positive anger inwardly nurturing PAIN – we don’t think typically that pain nurtures but nurturing is a form of protection and this is precisely what pain is doing when we feel it – it’s sending us messages to protect us – giving us direction and asking us to reach out. Never forget to reach out. You are never alone x

      1. Alana – Just another person trying to find my footing in this world ❤️

        Thank you! Yes, you’re right. Pain definitely does serve a purpose. Connecting with others is something that helps a lot with it, sharing it with someone does makes it a lot smaller.

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