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  • Writer's pictureKaren Divya Shekar

The 5 Faces of Pain.

Pain is a big part of the human experience.


The-weep-till-your-eyes-dry-out kind, the long-held festering wound kind, the come-and-gone kind, the recurring nightmare kind, the in-the-background kind, the always there kind…

It comes in so many forms and shapes I’d be surprised to find a person who hasn’t felt any.

We all have, to varying degrees, felt that sharp cut in a soft place. And we’ve recoiled.

But here’s what I have observed about pain. And that’s what I want you to know without a shadow of a doubt.

Pain makes you cry.


Pain evokes a powerful response—tears. When the floodgates behind your eyes well up, it’s okay to let them burst.


Cry your heart out. Cry your soul dry. Cry till there aren’t any tears left to cry.

But don’t cry for more than a week. If you do and can’t stop, I believe it’s time to confide in someone.

I confess that I spent every day of two years weeping.

I was exhausted, worn out, tired of living. I had no resources left inside me to give. I had nothing. I would weep every day in the quiet of my home.

I can remember what I cried about, and most of it doesn’t hurt anymore.

After I joined work, I slowly forgot about it.

Tears are a release mechanism.

However, in excess, they’re slow poison. They will make you enjoy them, to the point you will want to feel sad, bitter, jaded, and hopeless, just so you can cry.

Watch out. Pain can be a bit of a quicksand.

Pain Gives You Flashbacks

They will come.

Suddenly, in the office, at my desk, the flashbacks come. Then I can’t help but freeze, whimper, stare and then cry.

Flashbacks are, I believe, the mind’s way of reminding you, it isn’t over till it’s over.

Because you have to deal with the cause of pain.

You have to face it. You have to sit down with it, hold its hand and ask it gently, “Why are you still here, even though it’s been ages since you struck me? Tell me, what else have you and I to say to each other?”

You have to resolve the conflict. You have to go make peace, reparation, call it what you will. It’s only when the heart has made peace that I believe the mind “allows” you to forget.

And when it doesn’t, it comes back to hurt.

You'll be told to get off your high horse!

I was told many times to get off my high horse.

And I wonder why I was given that advice when everyone down below is running around with scissors.

People hurt each other all the time. It’s as common as stepping on someone’s toes or sneezing or brushing past each other.

I believe it’s impossible not to.

At some point, people will clash and someone will get hurt and feel it intensely.

So telling me that I wasn’t the only one who had suffered, I wasn’t the only one with “issues”, never helped.

As if I didn’t know…

Don’t laugh at those people who curl up into a tight ball like a hedgehog at the slightest experience of pain. Is pain appetizing? Should I actively seek it out? No! I will go to any extent to avoid it.

In fact, I will stay tight on my high horse.

Pain makes you take the moral high ground

The most tempting thing to feel once you’ve been hurt is that you’re on the moral high ground.

Don’t fall for this nosh.

Being hurt doesn’t make you any more right than it did or didn’t when you were fine.

I came to this level of maturity when I realized that I felt “angry”, “betrayed”, “owed” something by a supreme God, who in hindsight is no more responsible than I am. Then who is?

I know who is, the enemy is. But it’s very hard to bring that renegade to justice and exact revenge. That’s why I roam around with the haunted look of one searching for something but never finding it.

All this evil has a source. But the enemy is a slippery eel. Mere human beings cannot expose him.

Pain makes you want to die.

I can remember it clearly.

I was 13 years old, on the hospital bed, wanting to die, because I couldn’t take the pain.

The assistant was drilling a hole into my backbone to take out some bone marrow.

I survived it.

But I wanted to die. And every time I think about it, I want to die.

There is only so much a person can take.

I bring this up because I want to talk about what to do with that pain. Are we supposed to brush it aside, let it fester, allow it to heal or hold on to it as a trophy?

I'll have to think about it.

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