You know what’s funny about pain? When you have it, it’s really all you can think about. But when it somehow finds its way home, and you’re free of Ann Coulter and the devil’s love child, you too quickly take your non-pain status as natural. What I mean is that you sort of forget that you don’t have it anymore, more quickly than you should. It doesn’t usually get it’s proper goodbye party. You don’t normaly celebrate appropriately, because your body just sort of slides back into the status quo.
Between a couple of naughty discs in my back, endometriosis, migraines, and a shit immune system, I have had to learn to tame pain with all sorts of tricks. There’s only one thing that I like about pain. And that’s when it goes away. The relief is like getting a knock on the door from Ed McMahon and the Publishers Clearing House telling you that you’ve won $10 million dollars (of course, if Ed McMahon shows up at your door, you don’t need $10 million, you need a casket, because you’re probably dead, seeing that he’s been in Publishers Clearing House heaven since 2009). When pain exits, your body heads for a familiar place. Your forehead says sayanara to the nasty furrow between your eyes. The color of the air changes to sunny yellow.
I have the additional joy of feeling emotional pain when I get physical pain. I panic, wondering if I am going to have a long bout of pain (I’ve had some years where pain was a domineering mother, telling me what to do at every turn), and what it is I will have to give up, and do in order to rid myself of the pain (like go to physical therapy, have a tooth pulled, cancel an appointment, or social engagement). None of the things are what you’d call fun, but when faced with a wretched period of persistent pain, you’re pretty willing to do what it takes to show your discomfort the door.
I’m having a little back pain and it’s freaking me out pretty good, because I worry I might be at the beginning of a pain cycle. But I’m going to go gently, and meditate, and I’m going to be fine. Right now I’m focusing on what it’s like not to feel the pain. You know how it feels? Fucking fantastic, that’s how. Fucking fantastic.