There is nothing more pure and natural than pain. I learned this by successfully avoiding it for the first twenty plus years of my life. Not physical pain, real pain. The kind that shakes the entire essence of who you think you are as a person. Pain that cuts you down to the very foundation of your being, and rips every fabric of fabrication you have woven.
I dealt with it without knowing that it wasn’t something you merely deal with. I dealt with the hand I was dealt. Good ole red-blooded American full blown alcoholism. The type that makes you forget who you are until you remember enough to want to forget again. Enough alcohol to worry all of my friends and kill a small village of people.
For twenty-one consecutive days I drank. Drank is an understatement, I binged with a self-destructive vegenece that would probably terrifiy me if I could fully remember. I didn’t particularly care about living, until I found the pain that is.
At one point I put the blade of a knife in my hand and pounded it down onto a table. I sat and watched it bleed. I squeezed the blood out onto the floor, and thought with a little clarity for the first time in weeks as it trickled down. I could feel again, it felt awful.
I came to the conclusion that feeling awful was necessary, the pain was both needed and warranted. So that’s what I did, I hurt. For longer than I remember I hurt. In all situations, no matter what I was doing pain was underlying my life. For so long that it became the only thing I was really accustomed to and relied on.
I could do anything with pain. Once upon a time everything that I ever wrote was laced with it. I was unable to function with it and then I was unable to function without it. But I couldn’t care. The way pain slashed down to my soul, I couldn’t love that way. Until one day I forgave myself.
I spent a very long time working to become a better person than who I was when I started hurting. The pain is what motivated me to do that. I wasn’t good enough and that’s why I deserved to hurt. Make no mistakes about it I absolutely deserved to hurt. And then I deserved to make myself better.
The only drawback about relying on pain is that it has a tendency to keep you from joy. So I didn’t allow myself to find joy, it wasn’t an option. They say we only allow the love that we feel we deserve. I had every intention of being worthy of it but absolutely no eagerness to love.
Then one day love snuck up on me. It was so sneaky that it seemed to have been there the entire time. I loved myself, I loved my friends, I loved my family, I loved my life. I still do, every single day. Even on the days when loving is painful the hurt never comes back. I had spent so much time with pain that it didn’t bother me anymore.
There is nothing more pure and natural than pain, embrace it. Pain made me exactly who I am. Someday it will make you exactly who you are if it hasn’t already. Just remember as you’re crawling through the abyss there is joy on the outside.