Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Funny Thing About Pain

I know, my titles are usually weird, but maybe you think this one is weirder than usual. I mean, there are good things about pain -- it tells you you're alive and lets you know when to stop/when you're doing something hazardous to your health and well being. But what can be funny about pain? Well, in my opinion the funny thing about pain is that you can become accustomed to it.

Our bodies are so adaptable. You can become so accustomed to being in pain that it no longer feels painful. It feels normal. You can become so accustomed to being in pain that you don't even realize you were in pain until the pain is gone and then you wonder how long its been gone. Sometimes the absence of pain can almost feel painful. Its like taking a hot shower and gradually turning up the heat until it damages your skin without you even noticing it or boiling a frog. Did you know if you start off with warm water and gradually heat it up, the frog will stay in the pot and be boiled alive?

A while ago, a dear friend commented that in all the time he's known me (about 18 years), I was the most miserable while I was married to Joey. I totally disregarded it as just something people say when you get divorced. Just one of "those" comments that means nothing, but is somehow meant to make you feel better. And then, as I have found myself more, I realized that he was right. As I learn more about the me I am in the aftermath, I can clearly see that I was in pain and now I can feel the pain has receded some and I have no idea when it receded. Or why. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened. I haven't had any magical healing experience. I have only started to get to know myself and started to realize how much I like myself without him here. It is so much easier to like me without being yoked to someone who was supposed to love me, but didn't. Its so much easier to like me when there's no one here to tell me I'm a frog, no one here to turn up the heat. Its like finally exhaling after holding your breath for longer than you ever thought possible or like finally breathing in clean air. Its freeing, liberating, beautiful. Its hard not to inhale too much at once. And its about time.

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