Facing My Pain to Heal
Once the pain of my abuse began to surface around the age of 18, I had to make a decision. It was a critical decision that I knew would effect the rest of my life.
You see I was suffering. Once I’d finished school I no longer had anything to occupy my mind. My friends were all moving away. So everything that I was use to, was changing. As the routine fell away, the realisation that I was on my own, started to creep in. My pain, my issues, my existential questions about who I was began to surface and consume my mind.
This onslaught of questions and emotions could not be suppressed. Of course I could have suppressed it. I could have done everything in my power to keep it down, to switch it off and simply get on with it and pretend it wasn’t there.
But I made a choice at this point. I could fight to keep this pain within me, or I could face it head on and see where it took me.
You see I knew that it wouldn’t be easy. I knew that this would be my toughest battle to face. But the alternative for me was far worse. The alternative was working extra hard to be be strong, working extra hard to keep it in and I knew it simply wasn’t worth it.
The thing about suppressing your pain, is that it requires just as much, if not more strength to hold it in it as it does to release the pain and deal with it. Either way, it’s a tough road, but the outcomes are very different.
When you hold it in, you’re allowing the hurt to consume you, to dictate your decisions and you have to constantly work to suppress the pain, via overeating, drinking, substance abuse, self-harm etc. Whatever method you begin to use becomes your addiction. Your body becomes so use to this method so it expects more, to the point where you are now feeding the addiction and no longer the pain, even though the pain is still there.
On the other hand, when you face your pain, it still hurts like hell but it’s a process of peeling back the layers. So once you begin on one area and process it, you peel back the next layer and so forth. Each time you peel back a layer, and work through the pain, agony and hurt, you take another step towards healing. You’re not trying to lock it in, you’re addressing it, you come terms with it and make peace with it, so you can then move forward on to the next layer. Each time you’re facing your pain, hope builds and you begin to see a healthier, happier future where you accept yourself and love yourself, that you otherwise wouldn’t see by suppressing it.
I do want to mention at this point that I’m not saying this is easy. Because it’s not. The one thing that kept me going through all of this was the knowledge that I deserved better. I deserved to know who I was inspite of my childhood. I deserved to discover who I was. So I would intentionally remind myself that this pain was worth it. That this pain was only temporary and that this pain would subside the more I worked through it.
If you are suffering at this point and wanting to suppress the pain, I want to encourage you to release this pain and have the strength to face it. It’s worth it for a life you deserve. It’s worth it for the person you deserve to be.
Here’s some questions I asked myself when I was at the crossroads;
- Do I want this holding me back?
- Do I want this pain to dictate my life?
- Is it worth holding on to?
- Do I deserve a better life?
- Do I want to know who I am and accept myself?
- Would I rather hold onto my pain and allow it to ruin me or take the courage I know I have, to face it, deal with it and live a life I truly deserve?
It will hurt either way, but the process through pain is only temporary.
A great quote I read once said ‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.’
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