When there’s pain…

When the pain is there, the pain is all there is.

The pain is quite persuasive at convincing you that it is all that matters in your life, the only thing worthy of your care and consideration, the only thing that’s there. The pain draws your attention away from everything that used to matter in your life. Hell, it even draws your attention away from all the things that you didn’t think really mattered much in your life at all, like laundry, bathing, or deciding what to do for dinner. Slowly you barely begin to recognize how much the little, inconsequential, no-nothing daily tasks actually matter. How, all of a sudden, the small, inconsequential, no-nothing, daily minutiae seem like monumental obstacles that are impossible to overcome, even if you could muster up the energy and mental wherewithal to attempt them. Which you can’t.

Because when the pain is there, the pain is all there is.

It’s really hard to resist that feeling, that pain is life and life is pain, and the hopelessness that comes along with it. When you’re in the midst of it, if feels like there’s no way out, you’re in an impenetrable fog that obscures your vision, it blurs the outlines of your former life, your former self, so that they’re no longer recognizable as your life, yourself. It’s a fog so thick that it obscures your current life, your current self, too, so that you don’t know who you are anymore, or what your place is in the world.

It’s disorienting, disheartening, discouraging. Its dis-everything.

You get lost.

But if I can get outside, get moving, and feel the warmth of the sunlight upon my face and the fresh air filling my lungs, the fog will start to lift. The path emerges through the mist, if only for a few feet. But it’s enough, it lets me know that it’s safe to take a step, to move one foot in front of the other, to move forward, to make progress: to figure out where I am, who I am.

To be found.

Nature is my medicine. Being outside is when I feel most alive, most happy, most connected to what matters. Most myself.

When the pain is there, the pain is all there is. Pain begins to define me. I begin to become my pain.

I am not myself.

So when the pain is there, I go outside.

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