On Pain

Pain deprives us of our humanity. It bleeds away our energy, bruises our spirit, and cuts us off from our dreams and ambitions. Acute pain keeps the mind on the immediate present, with only the option of dull barbiturate oblivion to look forward to. Our worlds become narrow, our focus blurred and our dignity lost. Pain does not flay us down to our essence, it takes that essence away from us, leaving us curled, groaning sacks of raw nerves.

Is severe emotional pain as debilitating, as dehumanizing as intense physical pain? I would think so. Perhaps even more so. Betrayal, loss, and abuse have the same effect on our sense of hope and wonder as do gashes, wounds, breaks and malfunctions. 

I will not be trite and end with an exhortation to suffer through the worst because better times will come. I will not talk about how we scar over our hurt and how time heals. Most often, pain leaves lasting effects. And sometimes, pain is chronic. But I will say this, even in the middle of the worst pain, when time stops and the world closes in, there will always, always be that one little ember of hope, that one thing that does not fade away. Hold on to that.

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