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Dealing with pain


I have always considered myself a kind of a warrior. In the pacifist, but a bit tough & willpower-driven sense. And as I was treading slowly down the ski slopes, carrying my snowboard under one hand & letting the other arm hang on the side, I could only keep my mind blank… “No choice, get down the slope, don’t think.”

Being alone, I can only be strong. There’s no choice but to deal with it yourself, to do what is to be done. I was lucky enough that only 10 minutes was needed to bring my little self to a medical center. Or was it 15?  In those times, you don’t really understand what a minute means.

Being in pain is somehow one of the experiences that resembles meditation the most. You can only focus on the present moment, on yourself. Sitting on the bed & waiting for the doctor, with my body in a state of shock & my breathing laborious & fast, I did try meditating. I have to say I failed, big time.

That’s when you realize a few things about pain.

You can experience 2 kinds of pain. The one when you can behave & control yourself. And the one when you can’t.

The latter kind, you can still manage to carry yourself. And then, when you reach help, that’s when your mind just gives up its power & you start crying and shaking. I have to say, the moment 2 assistants grabbed my arm & the doctor pushed & twisted my wrist back into place, that was the most painful time I’ve experienced so far in my life. You don’t think, you just scream & cry. You don’t understand the pain, it’s so everywhere that you don’t know where it is. But don’t worry: no need to understand, you’re all about instincts at that moment. Only some strands of logic prevent you from kicking the doctor in the face or asking him to stop. It just has to be done…

I have discovered I am dealing better with strong pain if people have pity on me, feel bad for me, and then I can pretend to be strong. Telling them I’m fine, that it’s not that bad, helps me believe it.

But the more people pity me, the more I feel they’re trying to convince me I should truly feel bad, and that’s when I start shaking them off, sometimes a bit coldly. And then people don’t mention it any more and, inside, I’m then wondering if they don’t understand how frustrating & depressing it is to fight with this all the time. The illogics of dealing with pain…

Something tells me this is gonna be a long fight.

But then, that’s when you learn.

How to ask for help.

How to estimate your limits.

How to be grateful.

How to be patient, as lack of pain doesn’t mean complete recovery.

How to discover new activities, or new ways of doing old ones. Keep it new, with the eyes of a child.

Yeah, maybe it’s a good thing I broke my arm?