How often can I write about pain without a sense of guilt and shame? Sure, there are spurts of creativity that bring about a sense of enlightenment and ease. A burden temporarily disappears, pain seems tolerable and the possibility of change feels real and imminent.
But no matter how great I feel as the words create an alternate reality, there is a feeling of unease, lodged deep in crevices of my mind, exhausted and tortured by relentless pain. I write in hopes that pain will go away, yet each sentence creates reality built upon the bedrock of all that I am trying to erase. Soon the pain becomes my main filter, that which informs my decisions and thoughts, shaming me into the confines of a solitary existence and depression.
Each time I begin this journey into the self-imposed detention, I remind myself that the battle against pain is the one which is not of my choosing. Rather, I am thrown into it unwillingly, forced to fight as soon as I awake. As Melanie Thernstrom writes:
“…pain is not a place easily left behind. We inhabit Pain. Pain inhabits us…We write about pain, but pain rewrites us.”
Even though pain might transform who I am, I still control the process itself. My personal agency comes to life in my ability to reflect on that which makes me suffer. While the pain surely begins the journey, I decide the shape and the ease of the road ahead.
Writing about pain is more than a rebellion or a fighting stance. It is a life-line that allows me to create multiple points of view, keeping me grounded in love. Words allow me to open myself to others, erasing the possibility of isolation and offering hope.