There is pain, and there is pain, and there is pain.
Pain comes in many forms and many guises and it is very hard to quantify, for it is more intimate than any sex act.
There are many who would be willing to share your body who would abandon you at the first hinting crest of pain like the glimmer of light at the dawn. The truest of your friends are those who will stick with you when you cannot maintain your walls any longer. When pain becomes the all of your existence, when there is nothing but pain. If you can find someone who will sit with you there, in that place, on the edge of the knife and just be, then you should hold them to you tightly, for there is no truer friend. Pain can be more intense than any other experience in our short lives on this earth, even our pleasure often rides the crest of pain and topples over into it's tender embrace wailing as it goes.
Pain is a conundrum.
It is at once singular and universal. Individual and corporate. Every person knows pain. Every person recognizes pain in themselves and other people, it is hardwired into our cores. We can almost immediately pick up on true anguish and extreme pain. There is a face one can track and see and understand that all humans make when the pain is real, so intense and consuming that it must be unleashed into the world, everyone knows what that face looks like. But a person will only ever truly KNOW their own pain.
Pain is private.
Even at it's most public, we share our pain with one another on only the barest surface of it's vast terrain. So we invent words to qualify and quantify, to explain and to share. A vast army of words, descriptive and beautiful and terrifying, yet somehow even the most anguished description is still flat. Two-dimensional. Somehow subtly false, like a mirage before us. Words only take us so far, they are dry and dusty and paltry in comparison to our full immersion into the oceanic well that is pain.
Pain is primal.
Pain is untamed, a force of nature, unmoved by all of our prowess and might, our attempts to numb it and quell it's rage ultimately fail. It may be caged for a while, but it will ravage us anew when it inevitably slips the leashes we attempt to put on it.
Pain is more vicious than a tidal wave.
Like a drowning man quietly looking to the sky unable to make a call for help, pain drags at us like a fierce undertow and submerges us before we can cry out for rescue. It takes our breath. It morphs our attitudes, sharpens our words, changes our countenances until we hardly recognize ourselves and we cannot hear others.
Pain is uncaring and cold and unfeeling.
Pain humbles the mighty and the low, cares not one iota for station, fame or fortune. Pain scoffs at wealth and confounds the wise, it robs youth of freedom and cloaks the elderly. Much like it's cousin death, pain is a mighty force. you may delay it, lessen it's effects, ease the ravages of it's passing, but you cannot wholly prevent it. Every person who has ever lived has felt pain. Just as everyone will eventually succumb to the embrace of death, so we dance with pain in our existence even as we try and stall it's steps.
Pain is inevitable.
Even if one cannot experience physical pain, one will be cut down by the knives of our frenetic emotions, torn asunder by our ability to mentally and socially eviscerate one another. Pain is inescapable. People have invented many ways to try and tame pain, avoid it, numb it, kill it, make it disappear. We take substances, have carnal relations, drown in alcohol, preform grueling workouts, participate in life endangering stunts, take our pain out on others, trade one type of pain to delay another, take many naps, immerse ourselves in media, spend money, get lost in good books or games or the internet. There are tens of thousands of methods to attempt to outrun pain. Pain will always wait our distractions out and strike at us. We cannot outrun pain forever.
Pain is needed.
Pain is a warning that something is wrong. If you can't feel pain, you are unaware of injury, and once you hurt yourself once, you learn it's probably not a good idea to try it again. That is why we are hardwired to avoid Pain, it is an excellent teacher. Avoid feeling pain and you have a greater chance of not dying too early before you can reproduce and pass on your genetic information. Wanting to avoid pain kept our ancestors from jumping off of cliffs, provoking dangerous predators, burning themselves alive with fire, poking themselves with sharp sticks and exposing themselves to infection. This is good. Avoiding feeling pain you are already experiencing is less good. Ignoring a warning signal, or burying it beneath layers and layers of defenses only intensifies the issue. You mask the cause of the injury along with the feelings that the cause produces. This can be true of all types of pain. Mental, social, and emotional pains are all just as real and just as necessary as physical pain. Along with avoiding being eaten by a saber tooth tiger, one must also avoid angering a clan of people carrying pointy sticks enough for them to want to do you harm.
there is pain, and there is pain, and there is pain.