I’m contemplating pain today in all its myriad forms. We all understand the pain of a cut, they happen all the time, sharp but usually not lingering. The pain of a burn might linger awhile and go deep and can be truly excruciating. Then there are severe physical pains, passing kidney stones and childbirth come to mind. I’ve experienced the former, and the later will ever elude me. Migraines are my constant companions. I keep telling them to take a vacation but they just don’t want to listen.

What I find particularly difficult to deal with is psychic pain. The almost overwhelming anguish that can arise when one feels alone, abandoned, depressed or hopeless can wash away the walls that have kept one’s world neatly ordered and safe. At such times, even if surrounded by an embarrassment of riches one can feel too awkward to reach out.

Holidays make this ever harder. We know many friends are busy with their families and other friends, and we get an additional stab of pain at the thought that we weren’t included. If we’re alone it can be hard to be the organizer (not impossible).

Well, I’m going to start doing a better job of reaching out to the people I know who might be available. I’m going to take the advice I keep hearing and look for a meetup group or two of interest. I’m already seeking friends in new circles.

The anodyne to pain is not just pain killers. It is friendship, comfort and laughter. It is being understood by another who understands you and will listen. It is holding your friends hands while she (or he) quietly or loudly weeps to process the feelings being felt.

Pain is a warning that something is wrong. Emotional needs are important too, satisfy those and ignore them at your peril. Love your friends.


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