“That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.”
Everyone, at some point in their lives, experiences mental pain – whether it be as a young child, or as an adult. This could be due to mental illness, abuse, bereavement, relationship breakdowns or any number of other factors. But we all have it in common, eventually. I’d even say that it’s an important part of life. And I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, as I go on a journey of exploring my own pain with my psychologist.
I think, as a society, we generally try to minimise our pain. Someone has always suffered something worse than you, so you should just be able to get on with life. But pain is not a competition. Someone else’s experiences do not invalidate your own pain.
And this is important. For years, I thought about those people worse off than myself. I pushed my pain down, plodded on, coping as best as I could. I didn’t allow myself to fully feel it. But what I didn’t know, is that pain means something is wrong. And when something is wrong, it is important to deal with it. Whether that be by talking to a friend, or by seeking more professional help.
The pain we experience in our lives is, in my experience, unlikely to ever go away completely. But by giving yourself permission to fully feel the pain you’re experiencing, and by talking about it with someone you trust, you can take some of the power away from it.
I’m not saying it’s easy to deal with. Talking brings up all sorts of unpleasant emotions. But it also allows you to let those emotions out, in a safe environment. And that, I think, is a very good thing.