Saturday, March 17, 2007

the grass is greener


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I recently ran into a documentary on Sundance Channel about three children who cannot feel pain, A Life Without Pain. Obviously the title immediately caught my eye. Wouldn't a life without pain be wonderful? Maybe not. There is certainly more than one way to suffer.

As people who live with chronic pain, it is all too easy to focus on what we experience and how awful it is. I have thought so many times that I wish I never had to feel pain again. Yet, seeing this program illustrated to me that the inability to feel any pain at all would be just as bad, if not worse, than living with chronic pain.

It is weird to think of pain as a gift. I hate the pain I live with so much, and I wish my brain would get itself together and stop sending all these signals that have nothing to do with my survival or preservation. But seeing these the way these children hurt themselves, sometimes permanently, before they have the ability to understand what they are doing to themselves absolutely broke my heart.

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