Mental Health • The Way Pain Lingers

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“Don’t say anything if you can’t understand the way pain lingers.”

You can explain it to them.

They’ll nod, clench their teeth and tell you they’re here for you. But every nod signals confusion. Their clenched teeth utter what they think you want to hear, and the things they think you want to hear – never are.

Still, you ask for their patience and their unconditional love, but every day you fear they’re ready to give up on you. “You seem so happy!” they insist.

But they can’t see the way your body aches, your mind numbs, or tears form behind your eyes. To them – your laughter seems sincere and your smile looks authentic, and to them – that’s enough. But we hate when people assume things just pass.

If you see me in a month, I might still be confused.

If you see me in a year, I might still be insecure. If you see me when I’m smiling, I might still be in pain. So don’t say, “still?” Don’t say “I thought you got over that.” 

Don’t say anything if you can’t understand the way pain lingers.


This image was illustrated in collaboration with Lemon Chicken Por Favor

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  • Pingback: The Way Pain Lingers | tffnyreyes()

  • Yes… I mentioned recently that a situation came up recently among my friends that left me feeling lied to and betrayed, and this resonates a lot with what I’ve been going through.

    • I’m so sorry I’m late on my responses, Dennis; but I certainly read your message and hope things are changing for the better…? This seems to be a reoccurring feeling in life which we must learn how to deal with. Wishing you ALL the best!

      • No hurry. Things haven’t really changed, and I think the best thing to do is to cut the offending individual out of my life, since her actions have made it clear that she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore, but I can’t exactly ask my friends to do the same, because this doesn’t concern most of them. I hate being asked to take sides, and I wouldn’t want to ask others to do that…

        • We should all realize we’re at a point where we don’t HAVE to stay in communication with people who cause us negativity or stress. It will never be an easy decision, but it’s only you with control over your actions in this situation! No matter how irritating others actions may seem.

          • You make a good point. I meant that I’m still going to run into the offending individual at the mutual friend’s parties, unless I stop going altogether. But it doesn’t seem right to stay away from a bunch of other friends because of someone else’s inconsiderate decisions, so I might just have to learn to accept things the way they are. It’s a long and complicated story; I’d be happy to explain more privately, but I know you probably don’t need to hear a bunch of drama from some guy three thousand miles away.

  • Smile and pretend you don’t see. Hug yourself and be brilliant, shining eyes that see through.
    -N

  • Patricia Jackson

    OMG! You are in my head. I was in such a funk for no apparent reason other than “just life” recently. I went so far as to post a song on my Facebook page that spelled out my pain: “Song Cry” by August Alsina. It’s one of those beautiful painful songs but you can’t stop listening to it. My fav line is “I have to cry so that I can bloom ” (the single cover shows a rose emerging from the concrete in a storm). Why did no one respond? I’m like “really???”. Just because I look fine doesn’t mean nothing is wrong. People are always ready to use and use and use you up but when you need a lift there is no one to be found. You are singing to the choir sister!

    • Ahhh! That’s my kind of compliment. Thanks so much, Patricia! I’m sorry to hear you’re in a funk. Of course, we’ve all been there. It always gets better!

      “I have to cry so that I can bloom ” – LOVE THIS! I’ll have to take a listen. It’s not easy but unfortunately it seems we will never get the response we want from people [or life]. Hope you find your positive attitude and positivity finds you again 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Pain is something we can experience only on our own. One can tell other people what they go through or keep this all inside, that doesn’t change a thing. Pain is a signal. It signals that there might be something wrong with either mind or body. People who have a rare disorder of not being able to feel pain, do not live long because nature did not have a better warning signal than pain. I certainly can agree with that only theoretically because during the last 25 years there hasn’t been a single a day without pain whatever way it would manifest. I know what you mean, but, in fact, you don’t have to pretend. We have all rights to live through or with pain, and nobody can judge you for that because it’s not actually a choice. Pain accompanies so many different conditions, bodily and mental. It has billions of ways to show and remind one: something is wrong. We should not neglect our pain. It is as important as feeling happy.

    • What a perfect addition to my post. Thank you so much for sharing, Inese! I like to think I’ve lived more days without pain than I have with it; but you’re absolutely right in the sense that it can manifest [and sneak itself] into our days.

      I absolutely love your final line!
      “We should not neglect our pain. It is as important as feeling happy.”

  • I’m sorry, I accidentally posted the comment without name, the anonymous is me.

  • I really loved this, I think this is a great way to look at what pain really is and how we react to others rather than how we probably should. I shared it with my boyfriend right away and he loved it too! 😀 So great! Thank you.

    • Thank you, Rhett; and thank you so much for sharing it with your boyfriend! I’m so glad you both enjoyed it. Too often do people look at pain as ‘short term’ when unfortunately it’s not. We’re just misunderstood. Thank you, again. I hope to hear from you on future posts 🙂