Saturday, October 18, 2014

A profile of pain

Beyond the tipping point, pain, is really just physical. Emotional pain transforms into a different beast, and the pain physically beats the body around. The system with all its wholeness crumbling into pieces, twitches in agony as if beaten by a blunt object over and over again until every bit of it utterly cracks and dies. You'd think of the two as separate - emotions that tear the soul apart and rip the very spirit out of you, and bodily pain. You'd like to think about it all - sadness, hurt, anger, shock, guilt, loss, emptiness, betrayal and all that. In efforts to explain everything, you'd pull these elements out and try to feel them one by one, only to find that these would all cease to exist as individual entities. What follows would just be an indistinguishable confusing blob of a vague but a terribly intense emotion that, for lack of any way to express or articulate, can simply just be called as 'pain'. And when in this state that seems deceptively numb and unfeeling to oneself, the raging pain inside the body seeps through physically and takes control of the physique with monstrous strength. And then the entire body just gives away in one extreme act of submission to the sadistic force. And you'd just collapse and submit to the overpowering force, as if with knees on the floor, hands shackled behind the body, mouths stuffed and just silent tears flowing out of the bloodshot eyes with muffled suffocated painful breaths.

When pain sinks deeper, it hits the bare physique in all the bones and blood. One can try and imagine the body physically set on fire. Conceivably, every cell burns, and every nerve sends pain impulses to the brain until even they are utterly destroyed. Every tiniest part of the body screams 'pain' as the one thing in unison. Nothing else but pain could be felt, when the body itself burns away.

The most important thing you felt was probably the lump. It grows and grows in your chest. It really swells with a tremendous force and the ribs do not have any more space or strength to hold it in. The lump starts blowing up in size and then the chest starts aching like mad. It could be in the heart that the lump grows. Mushy as that may sound, it really can feel like that, in absolute physical terms. There is a chilling blood flow all through your body in moments when anxiety strikes and you can feel it gushing and filling all over the veins, and then the heart chillingly aches with the swelling. You'd think that it stopped beating for a second and your body was just blacking out into certain death. When fear strikes, the system goes for a complete toss.

Anxiety is a bad thing for sure. I have seen it on television and been dismissive of it as a psychological phenomenon that I reckoned was faked and exaggerated by the subject in question. In reality, it looks to be the worst physical symptom of emotional pain when it evolves into some sort of an uncontrollable monster. It makes the body jolt repeatedly, indistinguishable physically from being fired with acute electric shocks. The sound of the door bell, the vibrating cell phone, or just someone suddenly talking, anything could just send a systemic shock through the body and jolt it. When it adds up more and more, the body starts shivering. You lie in bed shivering, and can feel your body sink in to the earth little by little and you'd imagine that, you'd soon completely submerge into the fabric of the mattress, the pillow treacherously looms over the sides of your head to swallow and suffocate you, and as you submerged, you'd feel yourself receding from everyone and everything, as the body shivers and shivers, your lungs go breathlessly in a fit of unnatural breathing and chokes. The lump and the lungs, they interplay, as they expand and suck it in, making it difficult to breathe, to cry, to scream and all that you feel is just more and more sinking and shivering. There are moments when you break into a pulse of screaming so much that, you suffocate yourself into not breathing for quite a few seconds and then it suddenly breaks, as a gush of air gets into your body bombarding the pipes monstrously. It is hard to say when the chest hurts the most, when you held your breath or when it gave way eventually. I think it is the moment when the lump just breaks. The pain is acute. One could imagine that, that is how it could feel if the heart gets arrested.

There are times you'd want to escape, you run around and hide in corners and they are not enough. You push yourself more and more against the edges of the wall and you cannot go any further. Disappearing altogether is not easy. You lie down there, in a line along the edge of the walls, with your back away from the world, helplessly terrified still by the continued broad exposure to the world that you are unable to recede from. You hide yourself in closed rigid spaces to let yourself be not found and be shackled physically for a masochistic form of comfort. There is nothing that would hurt more than light. Light physically hurt. You'd stay there longing for light to be shut off and darkness to take over. Somehow, darkness meant, you were less exposed, and others were less exposed to you. When there was no cover around you for protection, darkness helped immensely. Light was very unsafe. Darkness was safe.

The nights pass by in utterly painful wakefulness characterized by shocks, chills, shivers and persistent thoughts of self-destruction. Every object you look around, feels like a weapon to inflict upon yourself some different sort of pain that is purely physical in nature and can possibly take your mind away from the other ones you felt, as being described in here - the blades of the fan makes you visualize your bleeding hands and broken fingers amidst them. The fused light bulb on the table, and your hands crave to reach it and crush it against your heaving bleeding chest. Any signs of blood will be a minor victory. Any solid object can be handy to bang your skull or fist against, to feel it all the way into your bones, past all the flesh and blood. We need not even talk about knives and actual sharp objects. And those who actually tried would know that cutting against your own arm or chest is really lots more difficult than they show in those movies. You'd cause a lot of thin scratches before you can do any worthwhile damage. These things are not even helpful.

There are numerous relatively tinier side effects. The head constantly hurts because of lack of sleep. Bottles and bottles of inhalers and vapor rubs are emptied and the head still hurts with a constant dull heavy weight of a fluid that moves around physically inside your head, hurting it everywhere as it moves.

And then there are the relatively infrequent blackouts. You stand up or move around and the world goes still and dark for moments. You are not yet majorly hit if you don't actually fall. The physique is extraordinarily sturdy and robust. You'd think, such pain would utterly destroy it, but even your pressure may stay stable during the worst possible inflictions of acute pain. It is a darn shame.

And, of course, the body goes feverish and weak for endless days. The blood boils with a constant dull heat that you feel all over the hands that feel frozen, as if kept in a freezer for endless hours. Frozen hands are a huge burden to carry around. You'd want to amputate them off to have a little comfort. If air moved around even very so slightly, it hurt the feverish skin. As you breathed out, the gushing hot air burnt the interiors of the nose with a dull acute pain. It would feel like the nose would bleed any minute. You suddenly realize that you cannot stand anymore as your feet cannot hold your body up any longer and you'd want to sit, only to find that you need to lie down and you can't sit anymore. Until the body assumes the comfortable position of a corpse, entirely letting itself to be borne by earth, every other source of strength innate to the body would cease to manifest.

Appetite shoots down so fast, food crawls into the body, every bit, oh so painfully and the jaws hurt to chew the pieces monotonously, and all of this would suddenly feel so pointless. Food would become the worst drudgery. And, oh, sleep! The minutes of the night ticking into painfully long hours can bring you chills to recall those moments any time later. These memories are best avoided consciously. With sleep cycles destroyed, possibly everything else in your body already starts taking a hit. The countless wakeful night hours would be followed by a mild sleep, characterized by jolts in the beginning until you disappear from this world of wakefulness and fear into something more comfortable, only to wake up a tad bit little later to find that time has not moved at all. Time is the worst kind of sadist. And then you'd try to sleep again. And as you'd wake up, your eyes would already be wet with tears, even before they got a chance to let a little light in. With what inspiration, the feet would opt to drag the body on to the advent of the oncoming day, you would never be able to explain.

If you cried a lot, you'd start coughing. If you coughed a lot, the throat would hurt. If you let the lump grow too much, you may start screaming. If you screamed a lot, the stomach would hurt. You cannot stop screaming and the stomach would feel like a thin balloon that may just burst with more and more stretching. It is a tradeoff. You need to scream to let the lump in your chest burst. You need to stop screaming to help your stomach stay alive. Depending on how far you go, you'd balance out the pain between the chest and the stomach. A lot of such insane crying activity would throw the system upside down and you'd just throw up. Point to note - Food is not a healthy thing to consume in fair quantity, if it is going to be followed by an episode of cries, shivers and screams. Especially, spicy food can burn through the throat and the nostrils. Food, also being an extreme source of drudgery, is best avoided unless absolutely imperative to sustenance.

In a rage, you'd have hit yourself here and there and you wouldn't even remember, until much later suddenly you would feel your feet hurt. And then you would realize you had probably stepped hard on something in frustration. The arms, head, feet, anything may suddenly hurt and you may find yourself wondering what had happened that caused the pain. Sometimes, you wouldn't know. When in rage and frustration, your adrenaline masks some pain for you to discover later.

Pain, is physical, in its worst forms. Perhaps, once the physique takes over, the mind is overpowered. Maybe that is why, it is an essential mechanism. You feed a man through his nostrils and he'd forget all the abuses he ever underwent in life in those overpowering moments of sheer physical pain and excruciating bodily discomfort. The gushing blood and its skyrocketing pressure can make you kneel before pain, in submission, fear and weakness.

Pain, pulses up and down, as a wave, from the dullest unceasing monotonous sense of a silent looming lonely helpless depression at its bottom most points, to its most intense expressive points at the top, where you find yourself screaming, cracking all the lumps and vigorously running around in a fit of rage like a mad animal.

Pain, overpowers and messes up with the mind, destroying all hopes of clarity and driving you to damaging, almost delusional, brain states, that make you question the very foundation of who and what you are, throwing away years of internal consistency and setting you up for permanent depression. And driven to its most fragile states, the body and the mind both, are just mad beasts that unwillingly went through torture, submitting to it at times, running away at times, but in the end, all that remains is just 'destruction' and 'death', of the soul that was in you. The someone inside you, died away. That 'person' was ruthlessly tore away out of your otherwise corpse of a body, in irregular hasty unshapely cracks to bleed bit by bit, and every happy feeling inside it was stripped off, as if pulling a physical body part from the body out rashly with sheer force. Drained of everything, what would be left inside was not just emptiness. The remnant would be a soul-less dead thing, you may call it a body, but there would be nothing left in it, of consequence. No life or a soul. But, that thing would not be empty. Once the soul was ripped off, the thing was just left with a bunch of physical entities of pain - chilling blood, lumps of seething pain, shocks and jolts, and when all bodily activity ceased, the thing would be lifeless as a corpse, only worse, because it was not even dead for real. And then, another day of life, would continue, with the dead thing walking around, everything else killed in it, only to be left with, sheer, physical, pain.

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