I don’t like feeling pain, whether it’s physical or emotional I have no tolerance for it. It hurts. When I am in physical pain, I just want it to end. I want medicine that will take it away. I don’t want to feel the burning, the stabbing the cramping or the bleeding. I just want to feel better. That’s a human reaction to not want to hurt physically. As people we are trained to understand that pain is bad. We dislike it and we avoid it at all costs. I can remember begging various doctors to give me medicine for some ailment in my body. Giving birth was horrendous. The pain overwhelmed my body. I didn’t know when it would end and that frightened me. People kept saying that the reward at the end of giving birth was the baby. That’s true, however it doesn’t negate the excruciating pain you feel when you are bringing that baby into the world.
Emotional pain is something I also don’t like to experience. Heartbreak, rejection or feeling unloved are some of the worst feelings that I can think of. I want to be happy. I want to be snuggled, held, kissed and loved. My pain comes when these needs are not being met. I resent that pain, I hate it, I want it to leave. I can feel it deeply in my chest and I’m angry at it. Why does it bother me so much? It’s not fair. I don’t deserve to hurt like this. What did I do to bring this upon myself? I feel like I am being punished when I experience emotional pain. Whether it’s true or not, that feeling is intensely real.
I will do virtually anything to run from emotional pain. I will eat junk food, have sex, self-medicate with binge-watching Netflix, impulsively buying shit on Amazon or (oddly enough) helping other people with their problems or pain. When I distract myself by helping others, it seems to make me feel better. It doesn’t take my pain away but it does distract me from how much it hurts. I don’t necessarily know if this is healthy or not, but I do know that I don’t like to be in pain. When I feel emotional pain, that piercing anguish, I feel it inside my body. It consumes my mind and my corporeal self. I just want the pain to stop. I want to not feel because if I do go to that place, the place where I can feel my emotions, it hurts too much. My body aches, my heart aches and it longs for what it does not have. To sit with the pain is a form of exposure therapy in some ways. You are teaching yourself that pain does end eventually.
People tell me, sit with the pain, feel it, don’t fight it. I don’t want to feel shards of glass inside my heart. I don’t want to be in touch with the hollow cavity inside my stomach. It’s not pleasant to feel like your body is slowly bleeding internally. Pain will pass, but it’s not easy or pleasant. If you are hurting, I understand how much you want to escape. I’ve been there.