01 October 2010


"There is a... violent understanding of what we are. It's better to hurt than to feel nothing at all, right? I just want to know I'm alive, so I'll bleed myself if I need to."

So that's it? You're gonna put yourself in harms way just to feel? You'd rather hurt than be numb? The agony, it makes you feel alive? And you'd give anything to feel that way, right? It gives you purpose, drive? And that high, that adrenaline, that rush is worth all that pain, isn't it?

Don't justify it.
Just answer.

Yes or No.

Look me in the eyes, defiant chin and angry brow. The answer is yes. And the reasoning, the justification is in the question: because it's better than nothing.

Don't you know, child, I've seen your fierce eyes and stern cheekbones before. I've witnessed your loathing of authority and sharp body language. I know your crossed arms and take on the world attitude. Bloodshot eyes and weak limbs. I know you, I was you.

You're a user.

It could be drugs, it could be alcohol, it could be an eating disorder. Might be sex or self mutilation or an abusive relationship ((romantic or family)). It might be a combination of the aforementioned, but those aren't the things you're using. Not really. They're the effects, not the cause. The cause might be poor self esteem, post traumatic stress disorder, fear of failure, a dominating figure of authority, poverty. It could be a number of things, but those still aren't the things you're using.
No one can reach you, no one understands. Anger and hatred is powerful and you like to feel it run through you. You like how strong it makes you. No one can save you, but you're secretly hoping. You can't talk about it because they'll judge you. And that judgement gives them power over you that they don't deserve. You just want to feel, you need to know you're alive, and you'll find any way you can to do that.

You're a user.
And pain is your drug.

It could be physical, it could be emotional. But it's not the specific that you are abusing, it's the general. It's the pain. And it doesn't even have to be drastic like rape or drug addiction, though it might be. It could be as simple as a bad relationship with your parents, depression, a falling out with a friend. But you use that self inflicted pain to escape from the pain you can't control. Casual sex, drugs, alcohol, anorexia, cutting, bulimia, violence, verbal or physical or sexual abuse, theft, indifference, anger, thrill seeking. Things that you use to "feel alive," to hurt yourself or others, to feel anything at all.

It sucks, right? I mean, it's good for awhile but it's just the sugar high of feeling okay. And the crash is so much worse than that. Those hot angry tears, that dispair that wrenches you from any concept of goodness or joy you have ever known. Makes happiness seem further from reality than ever the silliest fairytale. And the agonizing feeling of failure that seeps in because you couldn't keep that hurt at bay, you couldn't get rid of it. Vicious cycle, isn't it?

I don't pretend to have specific answers for you, because everyone uses pain in a different way. But I can tell you that the antidote, the rehab you must partake in - is joy. I would even go so far as to say that it's love. To give into the feelings that are more difficult to create. Real, lasting joy. Unadulterated happiness. Love. How you get there is a long and torturous journey, but it is much better than the one of using.

Reach out. There are those of us who have been there, who won't judge you, who will love you unconditionally. Talk to someone. Your story deserves to be heard. It deserves to be shared. You deserve to be known. And not just for a surface level happy person, but the whole you. The good and the bad. All of you deserves to be known, to be loved. Reach out.

I am what I'd call a rehabilitated user of pain. I used in all sorts of different forms. Being rehabilitated doesn't necessarily mean I have it all figured out. It doesn't mean I live a happy-go-lucky love-filled life all the time. I work on it, same as anyone else. Everyday. And the important thing to remember is that's okay.

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