How Are You Masking Your Pain?

When I was a kid, I had an accident while playing on the swingset in my backyard. This swingset was one of those old, metal A-frame type of swingsets.

You don’t see many of those around these days. Probably because they could be extremely dangerous.

I was playing with Jesse and Phillip in the backyard. We’d come up with the brilliant idea of placing a piece of wood on the gymnastic style bar and then walking up it.

After I’d gotten to the top, I saw my mother pull in the driveway. Seeing her pull in scared me. I thought we’d get in trouble for doing something dangerous.

So… I jumped off of the wood and landed on the ground. But before I hit, something else happened.

My forearm caught on the screw on the top of the swingset. It ripped my arm wide-open.

 

The ripping of flesh surprised me. And, more surprising, it didn’t hurt even with a gaping hole in my arm.

Once I realized what happened, I ran to my mother and showed her. She, wisely, knew we had to get to a hospital and get me stitched up.

I rode with her to the doctor’s office where there was a doctor who examined me. They determined I would need stitches.

At this point, there was some pain… There’d be even more pain once they began stitching my arm back together.

To ease the pain, I was given a couple of shots to numb the pain. It was glorious.

Until the last 5-10 minutes. It was at this point that the anesthetic began to wear off. I could FEEL the needle poking through my skin and coming back out.

This was an odd sensation the experience was fairly painless. With the medicine, there wasn’t supposed to be any. So, why was I feeling it now?

The operation had taken longer than they expected. They needed to stitch both the inside and outside of my arm back together. And it took forever.

That’s why I began to feel the pain. The numbing agents had worn off.

We Can Survive The Pain

Feeling the needle go in and out was painful. It pricked and pulled and popped.

While there was pain, I survived it. The pain didn’t kill me. It also didn’t debilitate me.

Afterwards, I began to wonder if I could have had the whole thing stitched up without anything for the pain. It’s a possibility.

We all feel pain at some point. It could be:

The betrayal of a friend

An employee leaving the company

Being passed over for a promotion

The loss of a beloved pet

These are all things that cause us pain. Sometimes, we want to mask the pain.

We want to take something to make the pain go away. We don’t want to feel it.

Some people take it to an extreme. They begin using alcohol or drugs to dull their hurts. They may resort to cutting or some other kind of physical abuse.

They just know they want the pain to go away. So they mask it.

I want to encourage you today. I want to tell you that YOU can make it through the painful situations you will face in life.

Doing so won’t be easy. You will hurt. And it will suck.

But you can make it.

You get through the pain by gritting your teeth. You get through the pain by putting one foot in front of the other. You get through the pain by surrounding yourself with people who will encourage and uplift you.

Whatever you’re going through today, I want you to know: YOU CAN MAKE IT.

Keep moving forward. Keep fighting. Keep living.

Question: How have you survived the pain you’ve had in your life? Let’s talk about it in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Pain is not fun, but it gives us perspective for dealing with others going through a painful experience. Over five years ago, my wife was hospitalized due to a significant illness. While I don’t want to repeat this experience, I’m grateful for the things this experience taught me.

    • That’s true Jon. It can shift give us our perspective. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • I used to be a number/escaper with just about anything. I had a lot of wrong belief about pain, and thought that Christians weren’t supposed to have pain or suffering. That was just completely backwards! 🙂 It’s taken some time, but I’ve come to see as I’ve walked through 40+ years of stuffed/suppressed/numbed emotional pain that pain is temporary just like physical pain. I’ve had enough broken bones, stitches, and surgeries to know that the pain can be very bad at the time, but it does (with proper treatment) subside and disappear (for the most part). That oversimplifies treating emotional pain, but while I generally loathe a trite saying, “This too shall pass,” is a true statement. And it is true both for feeling bad and feeling good. I’ve learned over the past couple of years that working through even 40 year old emotional pain won’t kill me, and once the stuff is brought out into the open (into the light), it holds less power, and gradually hurts less. 🙂

    • I’m glad to hear your perspective on pain has changed.