Pain Blinds Us

Pain can bury a lifetime of good in an instant.

This is an article that I’ve wanted to pen down for quite some time, but wasn’t quite sure how to tackle it. Well, today, a dear friend sent me an old video he had found of his cat that passed a few years back with his current cat when it was a kitten. His reaction was just, “Look at this wonderful video I found”, while my mind went to another place. The pain of loss. It isn’t healthy or good, but when I look at my own past videos and see my late cat, Tobi, with all my current babies, all I can feel and see is the pain of his loss. The wonderful life and love we shared is forever tainted by the ending to his story. That’s not fair to him, or myself, but I just can’t seem to help it.

Yes, I know that makes me somewhat of a dour person, but I’d wager at least half of you who read this paddle out in the same boat far too often. You may do it and not even realize that is what you’re doing. How many friendships that end suddenly and passionately make you upset to remember them in better times? How many break ups lead to the urge to purge the images and likenesses of your ex from social media? How often has learning one thing you disliked recolored someone entirely in your mind? My guess is that it’s a pattern we all wade through far too often, and it blinds us from the positive times.

I, for one, don’t want to let the life I led with someone be tarnished by a tragic ending. That picture at Disney World where 8 friends smile from ear to ear shouldn’t be thrown away because Craig later disagreed with you politically. When I think about my dog, Hero, I want to remember the way he farted and scared himself, not that his back legs degraded over the course of a year before his death. So, why is the main thing we remember the pain and not the life? I think its because we are uncomfortable with the pain and don’t take the time to grieve properly. We shut it out of our mind because we miss them terribly or never get to the bottom of why we were so upset in the first place.

Pain is so powerful that it overwrites the entirety of our memory, coloring over the way we used to think and feel. The first step in healing any wound is in diagnosing what is going on and seeing what can be done to stabilize. In most cases, going back to the way it was isn’t an option, but there should be a way, like my friend does, of letting the mind move past the pain and into the pleasure centers. Its something we should all contemplate and work on to move forward. I mean, would you really want to be remembered for something bad you did at the end, after years of positive actions? Be known for the way you died in your family’s eyes instead of the way you thrived? I don’t think so.

Perhaps, setting positive habits is a key way of combating those thoughts. Force yourself to think of all the positive times with the other, and push out the negative thoughts which invoke those powerful pained feelings. Maybe, start writing down all the things you loved about whatever the subject was, or try to hyper fixate on the most powerful positive memory you have. Frankly, it might even be a good reason to speak with a therapist or a trusted friend to help you find a way through. We all need a bit of help from time to time, and there is no shame in it.

No matter what you do I hope these ramblings helped you to recognize and unfortunate pattern of the human mind. No one wants to think this way and sometimes we certainly can’t help it, but if we know what we are doing is wrong, perhaps we can find a better way. A way as positive as the lives we love should be.

I’ll leave you with a poem I wrote some time ago that fits with these thoughts. That’s just how I process things, but maybe it will be an artful way to remember what you’ve read.

Corrosion

Once in a while life reminds
That what we love
Corrodes in time

Gold or silver
People too
None immune
To times pursuit

The fact that life
Tries to hide
With negativity
In its lies

Is new loves form
As others fade
In times sand
Love finds a way

But holding soley
To loves past
Will leave you ruined
Dust to ash

So learn to love
All on this ride
That we take
Through life and time

Or when this life
Chooses to remind
You’ll find it’s you
Who corrodes with time

Damian C. King or "Vicious Avarice" graduated with a BFA from VCU in 2010 and went on to become a prolific filmmaker in Hollywood over the past decade. Though he continues to produce features under his company Fantasy Forge Films, recently, he has reignited his passion for writing, focusing on poetry and fantasy novels. In January 2022, he published the children’s book “The Christmas Monster” which can be pre-ordered here (https://pegasuspublishers.com/books/coming-soon/the-christmas-monster). He looks forward to contributing to Malorie’s Adventures and asks all to keep an eye out for his future books which always carry with them a fantastical whimsy born of the imagination.

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