Throughout the past seven years, following my first major depression. I have learned more through pain than anything else. I am referring to mental pain of course. I have learned about myself mainly, my family, my friends, my former colleagues and people in general.
If I had a choice I would have taken physical pain hands down over mental pain.
Unlike the physical pain, the mental pain stays within you even after you’ve dealt with it. It never leaves and lurks in the back of your mind. Maybe it is the reason why pain is such a good teacher as it is always there, ready to remind you what it can cause. Pain has a wide range of variety.
Sometimes it was so strong and invasive that I thought about ending it all. I’ve tried. This taught me that I wasn’t alone in this, my family cared and needed me, and that I couldn’t inflict more pain on them, that I had already done. By the same token, it taught me about restraint and moral responsibilities.
It taught me about empathy. Something that I had never felt before in my life as was I so self-absorbed with my work and money. It’s not that I didn’t care about people but my unilateral remedy was money. Now, I can honestly say, that I listen to the person’s problems and try to support him/her in any way I can.
It taught patience. Problems just don’t come in and out at the same pace. Some pains have to be dealt with gently while others can be handled more swiftly which implies a better understanding of oneself. We are as complexed as our pains.
It taught me to genuinely care about people’s feelings. It taught me that what was important to me wasn’t necessarily for someone else.
It taught me how to cry. I had never been able to cry and now I do, it is a wonderful feeling to be able to evacuate deep, painful feelings through tears. It seems very easy and natural but for some people like me, it wasn’t. I took me some time, while I was depressed, to explore it and learn how to handle it.
They are other lessons that pain taught me, but one, probably the most important is that I realize that I don’t suffer in vain. There is a silver lining in pain which enable us to be more in touch with ourselves and attentive to others. It is, of course, impossible to see the positive sign of pain when we are in the midst of suffering but if we take the time to analyzing it when it is gone, we can see the “teaching” aspect of it.
Life is hard for most of us and in order to maintain positivity in this living hell, we have to try to find these silver linings hiding behind those primitive feelings that come up during our hardship.
Peace and serenity