No one and I mean absolutely no one, not even the mighty Ex-President Clinton can say: “I feel your pain”, and mean it. It is such a bullshit line it makes me laugh out loud and spit milk out through my nose.
How can one know what it’s like to lose your leg, lose your lover, lose your freedom or even your life, unless you already have? And then, do you even care?
We can of course, be sympathetic to ones plight, (Which I support whole-heartedly) even go so far as to be empathetic in the extreme. But the pain will always be personal. It is the nature of us, as creatures of this earth-Mammals.
The funny thing is, I don’t think this is such a bad thing. I don’t want or need anyone to feel what I feel, it’s unfair. No one should have to go through that. And I think most folks in chronic pain (be it mental or physical) would agree. Maybe sometimes I go for the low blow sympathy vote (not when I can help it). But generally speaking;
I like my pain straight up, alone, with a chaser of morphine.
Why do we as a culture, need to feel others pain? Is it voyeuristic? Is it altruistic? Is it sadistic?
“Ooh baby, a little more to the left…that’s it, make the poker hotter…ouch!”. “Yeah, that’s the shit!!”
Maybe it’s all of the above. But pain is huge business. It is for the drug companies who make snake oil remedies of all shapes and sizes for the pain. It is for the media, who broadcast the illusion that the pain is a universal pain and that in our 24-hour news cycle your pain is my pain, and your pain is so worth talking about, because I’m so worth listening to…. It is for the medical industry, who have basically no idea what causes the pain but works diligently to try and find it-all the while draining your bank account. And Let’s not forget the greeting card business that helps us express our uselessness in dealing with the pain of others, while allowing us to read wonderful little bon mots to make us feel better about someone elses’s pain.
I like my pain hard. Come at me with the baseball bat and get ‘er done. None of this lingering shit for me.
But like most things, it’s never quite what we prayed for and looks nothing like what would recognize. It comes quietly in the shadows of happiness, a little twinge here, and a poke there. Until it builds like a tsunami that just washes over you and carries you out to sea.
Pain is relentless, we can stem the tide for a while with various soothing solutions, but it returns to haunt our lives again and again.
The phrase should be; there’s no escaping death, taxes and pain.
While someone can live their whole lives without ever finding love, that same thought cannot be said for pain. Not that they desire it, (not generally at least), but it’s just the way we are built.
Another funny little notion of pain, is that those in real intense chronic pain, generally don’t talk about it to each other. We just nod back and forth as we pass by each other in the waiting rooms of purgatory.
The nod is succinct.
“Hey, what’s up dude, how’s that colon cancer going?”
“Like shitting razors, and you?”
My testicular cancer is a real bitch, it’s like peeing fire 24/7”.
Be cool man, see you soon!!”
There’s no need to say even a single word to each other because we all know. We all know what we feel and not what others feel and we don’t have to. Ours is enough.
I like my pain quiet and terse. Just feed my broken ass to the wolves and be done with it.
If I were to die, I would die in the American Spring.