Thursday, January 27

How bad it hurts?

A few days ago, in a literary creation workshop, a student said that pain had not made her stronger or a better person. “I have only learned to live with him,” she recounted. In her text, the narrator spoke of a time in her life in which she had suffered from an abusive relationship. A hard time and to which she was now putting words. It takes time. name the violence (s). We listened to his narration and did not say much. Above all, we returned him that it was a very honest text. Because of that there was no doubt: the story oozed truth.

Pain is an inherent part of existing (although some lives have more numbers than others for the lottery of suffering), but depending on how random life is, the situations that cause this damage can be more or less. There are pains for not knowing how to do, for not being able to. There are also inherited pains, because we do not choose the family, the context or the place on the map where we are born. So, above all, during the first years of life we ​​have to endure, we cannot choose. And that prolonged damage that we find ourselves with brings consequences. How can you not bring them. There are studies, in fact, that show that most psychiatric problems in adults have their origin in childhood or adolescence. That is its root.

It often happens that, when we are going through a situation that exceeds us, especially when we are creatures, we do not know how to put words to it. Sometimes time passes and those words still do not appear. The damage stays inside, silenced, clinging to the walls of the body. Sometimes what is happening to us is so much and so overwhelming that we do not know how to tell it. Sometimes we are ashamed to tell it, because around us people do not seem to have these enormous experiences. Because nobody talks about it. You feel like the purple cow. And before that, you shut up. And before that, the pain, which is stubborn, decides to stay with you.

And so we continued for months, years. Until we are able to verbalize what has gone through us and still hurts. But how complicated it is sometimes to find the way out of pain. And how simple it is that it becomes suffering. Because no matter how much they tell us, we don’t always have a choice.

I do not think it is positive to praise only those who have managed to cross the shadow and reach the other side without being absorbed by them. Because it gives the feeling that, no matter how much effort, no matter how hard we have tried to heal, if we do not do it in the ‘stipulated time’ or in the right way, we are not worthy of ovation. When we meet people who have suffered a lot and, despite this, seem to have no ‘injuries’, or at least seem to have overcome all obstacles, we praise their life journey. It has a lot of resilience, we hear. And it seems that this is it, that person took out a wand from his bag of magic items, made his wish and now he has the resilience he wanted. The reality is quite different. Especially since the resilient person in many cases has reached this state after much suffering.

The writer Lidia Yuknavitch said, a couple of years ago in an interview, that the idea that suffering makes you stronger is a myth. “I have depression and anxiety,” he added. It is already good to mythologize ourselves only when we overcome suffering, when there seem to be no sequels. It is enough to put it on a pedestal, to glorify the after misfortune and lift it up to the most sublime virtue. No one is better than anyone for surviving adversity and anguish, and no one is less admirable for not knowing how to face suffering and not being able to get ahead, or come out with more bruises than expected. The latest example has been Verónica Forqué. He could not find how to continue, as happens to an average of eleven people a day in Spain. He had already said many times that everything was difficult for him and that his energies were running out. Surely after staying strong for a long time.

Many of the ailments that go through us are neither chosen nor controlled. How not to suffer in the face of abuse, in the face of heartbreaking machismo, in the face of evictions, in the face of prolonged precariousness, in the face of suffocating debts, in the face of the consequences of not giving up, in the face of great disappointment. How not to suffer from a constant avalanche of toxic information, by every imaginable channel. How to perpetuate yourself strengthened when there is no repair of the damage. How to go out with your heart open to a day just as cold as the previous one. How not to fall to the ground when living becomes only surviving.

We do what we can. And we can’t always laugh, nor can we always party. Leaving room for pain is irremediable and, many times, necessary. And it does not mean that this space is going to become a beautiful home with fresh greenery and warm light. And nothing happens. Ideally, the pain stays there, in a space-time in which to rest, digest, transform, learn, and then move on to another stage. But sometimes the pain turns into suffering, and that’s where the hardest part comes.

We have read and heard for a long time that “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” I do not agree at all and also I do not think these words help, because if we do not know how to face it as we are supposed to, is there something that we are not doing well? Is the only person responsible for my vital anguish? Does it have anything to do with the fact that we live in a sick society? It is eloquent, not only that psychiatric ailments are increasing, but that from 1980 to today the number of suicides in the Spanish State has increased by more than 2,200 people a year. Things are not going well, they have not been going well for a long time, but it seems that we only realize it when sad news like that of Verónica Forqué hits us. Nobody wants to suffer, but many times we do not have the mechanisms or tools to stop doing it. I wish we had them. I wish we always knew how to do it. But in this society of urgency our discomforts are not a priority. The production and the show, yes.

What path is left for us? It seems like taking care of ourselves, collaborating with others, transforming. Fuck her a hundred times for a pain that is too infiltrated. Redirect energies. Not knowing where to look or if you can breathe. Try again, break several bones and tire you to tears. Not being able many times and getting it some others. Continue with the intoxicated blood. Grab yourself, if you can, to the supports, and go as far as you have to go. No, surely we will not reach glory, but we will go somewhere. Somewhere good for sure.