Is it easiest to ignore the pain that exists inside of us? Sometimes it seems too daunting to face it -- so maybe if we act like it is not there, it will go away.
Something that I have come to realize is that there is pain everywhere. I hate this. I hate that we live in a world that causes us so much pain and agony. I knew that this was the case, but until I started working with those who are in horrible pain, I didn't realize the extent that pain existed. Everyone has experienced pain to some extent, and therefore everyone has a story. What is your story?
I hear so often, "my pain isn't as bad as that person's pain, so I really shouldn't have anything to be upset about". Not true -- your pain is equal to those around you and your story is JUST as important. Often times, I think this thought is what keeps some from accepting and facing their pain. They feel that it is not worthy of expressing or that they will be looked down upon because it isn't as bad as someone else's.
The crazy thing about pain is that no matter how much we try and hold it in -- it always comes out. It flees from our pores. Pain is not intended to be suppressed and held in. We may not see our pain coming out, but others do. I remember the day when my husband suggested that I pursue counseling, 4 years ago. I was absolutely miserable. I thought that if I could just keep the pain down from the abuse and the death of my brother, then I would be good. I could live a happy life and act as if nothing happened. I felt like I was doing a terrific job of managing my pain. Boy, was I wrong. The pain was TOO much to face. Those closest to me became the subjects of my pain (this is not something that I am proud to admit). I did not even realize what I was doing, it was all subconscious. The moment that I felt any pain, I exploded. My pain meter was to capacity and was spilling over. I had no choice in the matter. My body could no longer take anymore. I had to do something about it. I made the choice to face the pain == scariest decision of my life.
In going to counseling, I was able to empty my pain. The weirdest thing was that in going to counseling, I felt more pain than I had ever felt. At some points, it was too much, I did not think that i could handle another ounce of pain. My heart physically hurt. But just when I thought I couldn't handle anymore, I could. I had to sit in my pain and just let it work its way through, like I had never allowed it to before. And because I was willing to do this, I started to feel the pain release. What a conundrum.... As soon as I let myself feel the pain, it started to release and become less. Now, I am not going to be dishonest with you and tell you that all of my pain has gone away, but it is much more manageable. I can now control my pain meter to the point that my pain isn't spilling over and affecting those around me.
I cannot tell you how many people have lived just as I did. Hoping that if they ignored the pain long enough, it would go away. This is actually a very common practice of the human population. We often choose to do the path that is easiest. No doubt, it is easier short term to ignore the pain. But, I can guarantee you that at some point, it becomes the more difficult route and a route that leads to more pain. Pain is meant to be released. We as humans crave that release.
Do you have pain that is spilling over? Would you benefit from getting it out?
Brittany Wingfield, MS, LPCC
Contact me now or schedule an appointment. I would love to stand beside you as you journey through your pain.