Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. -Mark Twain
Question #90940 posted on 02/27/2018 11:38 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why do things still hurt when it doesn't make sense for them to? How do I deal with that?

-My Name Here


Dear Friend,

It comes as a flash
Suddenly trading joy for ash
Biting deeply the core
With a promise of more

It comes as something slow
And with passing time begins to grow
Twisting and twining around the heart
Tearing it apart

It's something we feel
Being unwelcome makes it no less real
Because the hurt we bear
Is a sign we care

It's a signal from our soul
That the past doesn't come to null
For we are a sum
Composed in part of the things we've done

There is no timeline for healing
No deadline to be done "dealing"
No formula for when everything will be right
Just patience for renewal of light



Dear you,

From my current emotional struggles, I've learned that hard and painful things don't come about individually. Emotional trauma is not separated into distinct incidents. Just because you think you're emotionally recovered from something doesn't mean it will never hurt again, especially when other things in your life may not be going so well. Therefore new pains can reopen old wounds, and pain can conglomerate in unexpected ways.

That's a super sucky thing, but it doesn't mean you're doomed to suffer forever. Every few days, I'll feel as though I'm getting better, as though I've emotionally recovered from the rather terrible month I've had, when another unfortunate thing will happen and I'll sink again. Instead of feeling optimistic or positive, I'll be reminded of all the other things that have gone wrong, and I'll feel overwhelmed. Those are hard, bitter days, and like you I wonder why I'm still in pain about incidents I thought I had gotten over. But inevitably, the next day is better. I may be feeling lost and lonely and hopeless, but when I wake up the next morning, I have renewed energy and I have more hope than I expected. That hope doesn't negate the bad days, but it tempers them and makes them feel less demoralizing.

Auto Surf sent me this picture recently, and it's illuminating when it comes to describing the process of emotional recovery:


It can sometimes be difficult to remain hopeful, because I acknowledge my flaws and weaknesses that make me susceptible to similar emotional struggles. But when it feels like my bitterness is unreasonable, or that logically I should no longer be hurting over something, I read this quote from War and Peace: "If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, the possibility of life is destroyed."

To me, this means that even if all my emotions aren't positive, emotion itself is, and it makes life joyful. Despite my pain, I don't really want my life to be ruled by reason alone, and in the long run, my pain will make me a better person. It may be a sucky process, but there is a subtle joy to the more persuasive pain.

I'm sorry you've been struggling, but you're not alone. It's not easy to sound sincere over the internet, but I love you and I would be happy to talk to you if you ever need someone, so please, feel free to email me. You are strong and amazing and I admire you.