“You are strong enough to face the world. Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. Even if you are filled with doubt. Even if you’re crumbling at the edges. Your strength will emerge.”
I like pain.
Not pathologically, and not necessarily fetishistically, but as a reminder that I am and feel alive. As a reminder that my alcoholism isn’t so far behind me to no longer be a danger. As a reminder of the hardships that formed and moulded me.
So much of the modern world is designed to eliminate pain and discomfort. The apps we use. The frictionless way we approach our days. The myriad options that we have to dull our experiences to the point of mundanity.
They work - for the most part. With the rather negative side effect that a complete lack of pain and discomfort has a way of cheapening every other emotion and sensation.
It’s as though we all collectively decided that we wanted to feel numb to 80% of our experiences, instead of feeling 20% of them as sharp as needles.
If you’re going through something terrible right now, whether it’s a loss, a break up, a period of transformation, a period of difficult personal reflection, a struggle with addiction, I want you to know this. It’s not a bad thing at all that it hurts.
It’s not a bad thing at all that you’re in pain. It just means that you’re human, and you’re you, and you too are alive. Appreciate that.
All my love,
Challenge your ideas. Challenge the things you tell yourself. Every time you utter a phrase along the lines of, “I’m not the sort of person who…” ask yourself where that comes from. Ask yourself if it’s even true. Ask yourself if it’s a belief that has outlived its purpose.
Spend time in solitude. When was the last time you were alone and quiet with your thoughts, without the shallow comfort of distractions? Solitude is where our ideas grow, and where we grow with them. Solitude isn’t loneliness; it’s the art of being happy alone.
Buy yourself flowers. I’ll tell you something rather hard; nobody buys boys flowers. A friend of mine was telling me this the other day. He began a practice, on his own road to recovery from addiction, of buying them for himself, as a way to show care. It became a symbol of his commitment to loving himself. It’s a practice I can’t encourage enough.