I have come to realize that we are very ill-equipped to manage pain and suffering - especially mental pain and suffering. Mine happens to be mental anguish, anxiety and depression. Our culture and society has crafted "medications" to ease our pain: technology to escape, books, posters and memes to uplift and inspire us, religion to give us reason and hope; the "grass is greener" attitude of escapism and "this will pass" attitude. Often times people will apply the most stinging medicine on pain: "You know... people are going through way worse things that what you're going through." or "It can be worse." or "Just be grateful for what you have".
And while graciousness and being thankful for the blessing one does have is definitely a positive attribute... it doesn't quite diminish the pain entirely when you are drowning in the thick of it. Applying pick-me-ups, or a rebellious attitude, like, "I'm gonna fight through this!" sometimes makes it worse - all in an attempt to diminish pain. And those who seem to lean on "People have it way worse than you..." are also buying into the resistance to feel pain.
I've learned, however, through the last four months of feeling the most pain I've ever felt in a long time... that pain just may be required to be felt. Quite possibly, the constructs of "things will get better" and "this is all for the good" and other prayers we tell ourselves may just be our way of coping with the thing we refuse to feel - true pain.
A few months ago, I did a painting that read "I eat my sins everyday, and chew on them until my gums bleed".
I accept my pain as part of my human experience; I will live through it and feel it until it subsides and not give that a time frame. No technology, no money, no physical transformation (like weight loss), no books, memes, posters, dating women or trying to foster a new relationship... none of that will take away the pain. The pain MUST be felt and accepted. It must be worked into my daily life... as if I was plagued with a long term disability.
Our society and culture has developed so many ways to mask pain - and I am not exactly sure if masking it is the answer. Sometimes medication is needed and therapy - but these are not devices to mask it. Escapism into technology, running away, hurting others and rejection of feeling pain does immense long-term damage.
So, just like I ride through some physical injuries, I ride through this pain, as well. I live my life as normally as possible, allowing myself to feel hurt and anguish. Making people aware that this is what I am feeling and what I am doing. Not getting trapped into coping devices to mask my pain, not trying to develop new romantic relationships in an attempt at a "grass is greener" mask. I live with my pain and it's okay to.
Pain is part of life. I've learned to accept mine. It feels awful, but allowing myself to accept my pain keeps me from making mistakes that will hurt myself - and others.