I’ve come to realize that I don’t do well with pain, at least not pain of the emotional sort. As a matter of fact, when someone seriously hurts my feelings, I get angry. Really, really angry. Like I practically see red and have a tendency to behave in an irrational and borderline insane way. It is not pretty.
Physical pain is a different story, though. I’ve experienced some pretty painful things – unmedicated childbirth, separated shoulder, multiple surgeries on various parts of my body, and nothing as caused me to truly lose my sh!t.* I’ve developed some skills along the way to help me cope, things like focused breathing and visualization have gone a long way in making me able to contend with severe discomfort.
As long as it is my own pain, that is. I don’t do as well with other people’s pain. When someone I care about is hurting, I’m good with trying to make them more comfortable and doing my best to provide them with whatever they might need to get well again. To a point. If it feels to me that there is a lack of positive progress or a wallowing in the pain, I find myself stepping off. I guess I just can’t handle it.
What are you more able to tolerate – physical or emotional pain?
*Delivering that baby with Pitocin and without pain meds was probably the closest I’ve been to out of my mind with pain.