A rough draft because pain can never be edited

Growing up I had this theory that if I got hurt I needed to pick at it until I got used to the pain.

I remember adding rubbing alcohol, mercury, and hydrogen peroxide to my fresh wounds. I wouldn’t even cringe. I felt a need to be strong. I felt a need to accept the pain before it consumed me. ( I guess I was molded to be a strange being after all)

My mother would stare at me in disbelief and ask me of my drastic measures. My only response all my life was, “ The quicker you get used to the pain, the quicker the pain disappears.” Being as twisted as her daughter, my mother would laugh and recount my “brave” behavior to the family. I continued my self- masochism because it was more admirable to be strong than weak. At least according to mother.

Years passed me by and I still walked life with such “bravery”. It’s incredible because by this point I had adopted this mindset for even emotional pain. I had only practiced this perspective for physical wounds but there came a day when I used it on the inner pains.

Life, success, love, family, self-acceptance, death… These were a few things that caused me to have a bruised heart at some point in my young life. But, I was able to work my insane ways into them. I faced each and every demon in the face no matter how much it was killing me inside. My insides, my heart would be disintegrating by the seconds as I faced the flesh of my pain. I destroyed myself by swallowing all the pain. I smiled in the end but was I really smiling? I was convincing myself that it was an accomplishment not to feel anything.

Now, I have been reflecting. I’ve reflected on my decisions and my actions. Allowing myself to feel has been the greatest thing. I’ve changed the script on myself and although it has taken me a bit to adjust, I am still striving through. Why the sudden change though?

There came a moment in my life where no matter how much I tried to brush off my internal wreckage, it was still ever present. It was the greatest battle I had dueled with. I fought myself and only myself. I would tell myself pain was not an option as I laid sobbing fervently. for hours on the floor. Who was I? I wanted it to end! Why was my mechanism not working I would think every single day. That question, “how are you doing today” became my worst enemy. Was I to be truthful and reveal my weakness? Were people just wondering if that was the day I was going to lose it? Or worse, did they know already?

This emotional turmoil took me in. Since I had never dealt with this intensity of pain I became disoriented with my actions.

I saw myself losing control of life’s steering wheel. I saw myself letting go as though I had auto pilot. I watched myself speed up through the streets of my mind. Then…I was stranded.

I broke down in front of every person possible. I needed to control my emotions. I knew this. I wished every night for an instruction manual. I needed to get better but how? How the fuck was I ever going to jump back from this insensitive bastard that was living in me. My mother kept telling me to snap out of it. She told me I needed to be strong as she has been used to seeing me. “I’m trying mommy.” That’s all I could tell her. Shame on top of shame on top of shame! Where was my strength? I thought I had control is all I kept replaying in my head.

It turns out I did and I do. It just so happens that in order to feel, you must self- destruct. It’s quite funny actually because I knew exactly when I was getting better. After months of agonizing mental chaos, I came back.

My last sob before my self- rediscovery was kind of forced. I had gotten so used to crying that I thought I needed it to sleep that night. It turns out I didn’t.

I had been doing things for myself. I had faced my demons. I had accepted my fears and my pain. I realized that becoming one with the pain was not an instant fix, at least not when it’s for your emotions. I now know I must savor those sour moments in life. I must cry. I must talk about it. I must laugh at it. However, each stage is different and I shouldn’t force betterment on whatever the situation may be.

I now understand that life will fuck you relentlessly until you accept it. I can not control the process, I can only enjoy the ride and remind myself that falling down is great but bouncing back is nirvana. Go for it life, fuck me again.