It’s incredibly interesting to me (okay, maybe not incredibly interesting, but definitely interesting nonetheless) the varying degrees of pain we feel as humans and how sometimes we overcome it and other times, we simply feel like this is it, there’s no possible way our body can withstand any further pain so we might as well just give up and give in. And then the pain finally subsides and you realize it was never really as excruciating as you made it out to be in the first place. Like, for instance, when a horrible, mind-wrenching stomach pain comes on out of nowhere and you feel as if someone is twisting a serrated knife deep into your gut and won’t stop until all your insides are shredded, and then it turns out it was just a bad case of indigestion and gas pains. Er, something like that. I blame all the Mexican food I ate today.
When I was fourteen, I broke my elbow pretty terribly. It’s the only thing I’ve ever broken and (knock-on-wood) will hopefully be the only thing I ever break in my entire life. I once wrote about my experience quite sarcastically (as usual) in a writing class my freshman year of college (and maybe I will share it with you sometime, but that’s for another day, let’s stay on track, shall we?) and though I tried to add as much wit and humor as I could to it, it didn’t change the (bitter) fact that breaking my elbow was the worst pain I’ve ever had to endure up to this point in my life- physically, that is, not emotionally, if we were talking emotions I’d be here all day crying about all the pre- and post-teenage angst and depression I’ve endured the last 10+ years of my life. So, thankfully, we’re not talking about that kind of pain, because I don’t think there’d be enough room on a page or enough energy in my fingers to type it all out. Anyway.
As I was saying, breaking my arm was the worst physical pain I’ve ever had to live through in my short 25 years of existence on this planet, and near the end of my 5-month stint trying to fix myself and willing my arm to just heal already, damnit, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. Sure, by then the physical pain had worn off and the emotional pain was starting to take its toll, but even from the beginning I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, that my body would simply decide the pain was too much and say fuck it. Which it very well could have, I guess I just happened to be stronger than I thought at the time.
It just makes me wonder how our bodies can withstand the things they can withstand, and also why they don’t withstand certain other things. It makes me wonder how the whole “mind over matter” thing actually works, how your brain could possibly trick your body into thinking it feels no pain at all, or how, reversely, you can exaggerate the pain more so in your mind than it actually is in reality. I know there is an actual science behind it, one involving nerve endings and brain waves and messages sent to the epicenter that is your mind (and back), but I’m not smart enough to get into any of that, or even want to anyway. So instead I’ll just ponder and make up my own reasons and not share them with you because if you don’t mind, I think whatever was tying up my insides has finally decided to move its way down and make an appearance. Which just leads me to link you here. You’re welcome.