I want to discuss something that is rarely brought up in the world of “everything in my life is perfect” social media, pain. Pain is something we all face at different degrees, it shapes us more than we know. In my life I can’t say I’ve faced anything that stands out as particularly horrible, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t dealt with pain.
A few years back I started having intense panic attacks where I thought I was either dying or going crazy and they persisted for hours. If I wasn’t in the midst of a panic attack, I would be fearing the next one, I remember lying curled up in my bed mid-day just wishing for some relief, I remember getting CAT scans (alone) because I was convinced I had a brain tumor, I remember feeling so alone and having no one to really talk to about it or at least I felt that way, I didn’t want to “bother” anyone, I remember looking at other people and being jealous of how care free they seemed, I remember replaying an assault that happened to me 6 years ago over and over in my head, torturing me and disturbing any peace of mind I might have had, and some days it still does, I remember never really feeling like I fit in the crowd , knowing and hearing about people laughing or talking shit behind my back, I remember a constant existential angst, anger at the world and life, I remember never being able to sit still and just be with myself, I remember all the shitty things I did to people out of ignorance and anger.
All these things build in the subconscious, we can call them our Demons, and we all have them. They are like a 1000 lb bag of luggage that we drag with us throughout the day. One day I couldn’t take it any longer. I was sick of the fear, the resentment and the pain. So I went into it. I did hours and hours of meditation, which is not as relaxing as it may seem, sitting and going into my mind for hours at a time, breathing with the anxiety and not going to drown it out with a beer or Netflix. Facing it. I took psychedelics which surfaced my dark sides in a loving way, especially with Ayahuasca. But nonetheless they brought out things I had pushed under the carpet for far too long and humbled me in ways I’d never imaged.
It’s been about 2 years that I have been healing and working on myself. Some days are pure magic. I look around at how far I’ve come and how blessed I am. The amazing people I meet and the opportunities I’ve had and burst into tears. The gift of life itself, just being able to exist. I do not feel as clingy to things, I am less afraid and neurotic and can be happy just sitting on a park bench for hours. That’s not to say I’m perfect, I have rough days too but the point is I’ve owned my pain and am dealing with it the best ways I know how. Through self love I have seen an amazing transformation. I can look back and see how all the things I thought were curses have turned out to push me to grow and stay humble. I am glad I never fit in with the crowd because I look at what the crowd is doing now and I’m not jealous. I feel I am finding myself. I no longer avoid pain, in fact I actively search for it now, not in a masochist way, but in a “let’s grow through this” kind of way. It is very counter intuitive but is sometimes the most loving thing I can do for myself. For example, just this morning I ran further than I ever have before, I was so tired, so exhausted but I just kept moving my legs, by the time it was over I was in tears, but it was the most amazing feeling ever. I truly pushed my limits and beliefs, I try to do something like this everyday to remind me that life is short and fear is pointless.
Yes, I did make this post for myself in a way, but if it can help some of you in any way that’s only a plus. My biggest advice from all this is : don’t hide from yourself, go into the pain, go into the fears, it will set you free. And stop doing things for other people, your job, your relationships, who are they really for? When you are lying on your death bed will you be okay with how you lived your life? Talk to people about the pain, because everyone has it. We feel we are being downers or dark but I guarantee everyone can relate in some way. You’d be amazed at how many people are going through what you are or have gone through it and came out the other side better. Once you are comfortable with the pain, and no longer fear it, well you are impenetrable and you are free to live exactly how you want, without limitations.
When you get a moment, close your laptop, go outside, sit in the sun and just breathe. Think about your life fearlessly, feel your body, marvel at how odd and alive everything is. It’s truly amazing .
That’s all, peace and love from another human being just trying to make sense of this shit.