Are you addicted to pain and suffering?
The piece by Huffington post popped up on my search on whether pain can be addictive. Google is a good friend when you are working to achieve a high emotional EQ. No one has to know that you are using Google for your confirmation bias and to find company for your misery. I am not miserable. Far from it. I am in elation at the discovery of self, thanks to the pandemic and subsequent isolation.
Will we remember how to socialize anymore?
My journey to better understand emotions began four years ago after there were some destructive patterns starring yours truly. At the time there was volatility that made relationships with people hard but gave me some semblance of control. If I can control access then maybe no one can hurt me.
This year my mother got me a neckpiece for my birthday. I have worn it since. It is a source of comfort when homesickness hits and reminiscing on snickering at our inside jokes. On some days it is a lifeline for support when I cannot figure out why academic writing is so…bland. Rubbing the locket is a cue to my brain to cite a source correctly.
Replace the neckpiece with pain.
Pain and suffering are an addiction. We carry it around to give us the pity fix. I push it further and say some of us think we are only deserving of pity love and approval so we carry our pain and suffering lantern, swing it everywhere we go hoping to catch the attention of anyone who sees our misery.
Here is how I discovered I am a pain and suffering addict.
I used my pain and suffering chronicles to get people on my side when there was never a match, to begin with. I regaled stories of my work in the media industry in Kenya for the last 10 years with details of how much I had suffered. Yes, there were some experiences that should have missed their flight to me but it has not been all bad.
Pain and suffering are not pervasive in our lives. It can feel like it because our hearts, body, and minds naturally want pleasure over discomfort but it has not always been bad. You can have a streak of mishaps for reasons beyond your control but those should create a habit for pity interactions with people.
Who are you without your pain?
A good friend once shared in one of my Instagram videos that I do every Sunday that sometimes we hold on to pain because our identity is anchored on it. Pain and suffering are comforting. They leave us passive because healing would require that you work through the pain and suffering.
The other day, I interviewed a gentleman for a project I am working on for school. It lasted three hours and later that night was a word document begging me for words because the political science professor is anal about word count. Once the two were done, I like you, sat on the couch doing nothing.
This must be an adult thing where sitting on the couch gives you the pleasure that previously would need heels and a drink. I reflected on how that moment came to be. The decisions that led me to a hand me down the couch, in a towel gifted to me for Christmas typing away on my laptop trying to earn a degree.
When you have made up your mind things have worked. Think about it. You wanted that job so you started to work on your resume, polished your LinkedIn profile, and began making calls. It was hard but it worked. It began with a decision, followed by actionable steps and things worked.
We are going to do the same with pain and suffering. Drop the deadweight and work on keeping it off. Like any addiction, accept that you have used your pain and suffering as a slasher through life’s shrubs. Get the services of a professional who can help you understand the root of your addiction. Read your bible and pray every day. Feed your mind with material that builds you up.
After slouching on the couch for an hour, I made the decision that I want good things in life.
No more playing small. We are going to learn how to want good things for ourselves. Live in full purpose. Activate each talent that is lounging on your soul. Create generational wealth. Finish writing the book. Record your podcast. Start your YouTube channel. Create the app. Buy the car. Put a down payment for the house. Build your credit score. Find someone to help with your resume. Keep adding to the list of what you need to restore what your pain and suffering addiction took from you.
It begins with the decision to cut chords with pain and suffering.
I have been through pain and suffering. Those only make up part of me. The rest of me is pretty damn awesome and I am making the decision today to find that part of myself. Read that again this time more convincingly.