Pain is not just physical, it's emotional. Pain can rip us up from the inside out. The problem is how do we let go of pain. Is that even possible? Many would argue yes. That while it's hard to let go of it really is possible to move one. I kind of disagree with that.
Now don't get me wrong. Yes you can move on from pain but I believe that a part of it will always stick with you. And that's okay! You can grow from pain, it makes you stronger. I could give you a million metaphors on this but instead I'm going to tell you a story about my own struggles with pain.
When I was 8 years old I experienced my first real challenge with pain for the first time. My Grandfather passed away on May-14-2007 from cancer. I was devastated. This man had meant the world to me. Everyone called him Red because of his love for HI-Farmall tractors, which are obviously much better than John Deer. I was very found of Grandpa Red because he always took me for rides on his tractors and would let me read to him. We were very close, and not just because he's where I got my red hair from but because he was one of the first people I knew who truly loved me. So when he died my grief was unbearable. For some reason as a newly naive 8 year old I though his death was my fault. That somehow I could have stopped one of the world's worst diseases. But eventually I realized there was nothing I could have done and accepted that fact. It took me 10 years but I finally moved on when I graduated high school only two weeks after his 10 year death anniversary. I knew then that I had done what he had always wanted me to, graduate and go to college. I knew the day of Graduation he was probably smiling up from heaven and I couldn't be happier. Yeah I still mourn for him sometimes and there is still pain but I'm done grieving. I know he's in a better place and would want me to live my life to the fullest. But that hasn't been my only struggle with pain.
That same year in 2007 I was diagnosed with RA (rheumatoid arthritis). That is the worst kind of arthritis you can have and usually only very elderly people have the disease. The disease makes my entire body constantly cramp and ache. The more moisture there is the worst the pain. I am ten times more likely to break a bone than someone else and barley have any strength in my hands. So how do I cope with this? Well having this disease means I deal with pain on a daily basis. Please keep in mind that a lot of people struggle with much more serious diseases than I do but being told you could end up in a wheelchair by age 21 isn't that much fun. Unfortunately all I can really do for this is take hot showers, get some exercise, massage my joints, and take ibuprofen like skittles. But I still live my life. I go to classes, I work, and I hang out with friends. I do everything I normally would even though the pain is still there and it probably always will be. But I deal with it, and the disease does have it perks. Like being able to ride a tricycle all around campus. Pain can happen daily but we still get go on. But what do you do when you don't want to live anymore?
Yeah you heard that right. I've had those thoughts. Starting May of 2015-to present day I have struggled with severe depression. Sometimes I just don't see the point of getting up every day. Why should I? What's there to live for? Oh I'm sure you could give me a ton of answers but when your in such a mind set you just don't see the point anymore. Your entire life just feels like a living hell. So I'm sure the big question is why am I still here if I feel this way? I'm here because of my friends and family. I want to live for them because they see things in me that I never thought were true. My mom sees my stubbornness and determination. My dad sees my big heart and my will to fight for things. My brothers see my goofiness and the love I have for my family. My friends see the amazing person I'm becoming. They see the exact opposite of what I see. Where I see gigantic flaws they see beautiful imperfections, where I see weakness they see strength, when I feel hopeless they give me hope. I am still on this Earth because I want to be what they see. When they look at me they see someone who's going to do great things and they make me want that too. I want to be the strong independent person they see. I want to change my own reflection in the mirror. It's hard. I fight myself every day. But I still fight. I don't give up. I've got scars from it. Emotional and physical. But so does everyone else. We all have scars and they make us stronger. They show that we are warriors who have fought year long wars and are still going into battle. The pain I feel does not make me want to give up, instead it lets me keep going because I know that the battle is worth it.
So why am I telling you all this? What's the big take away? It's to solider on. Keep fighting through it. You'll make it. I know you will. Pain is hard. We don't know how to fix it. But we do know how to keep going and sometimes that's all you can do. So take a breathe, count to ten, and hold your head up. Pain can't last forever, but hope can.