Why Do You Like Pain?


I opened Google Chrome ready to log-in to 1 of 3 e-mail addresses. Chrome was the home of this one. The one I tried to avoid checking all weekend. Today was a new day, and with my renewed strength I wanted to creep back into the reality I x'd out of on Saturday. I wanted to check my Spam box; that's where the messages from people you block collect. I was expecting to find a message from someone I blocked. I expected to see the bold text that indicated a new message; that bold text would've caused my heart to sink. I wanted my heart to sink. I expected my anxiety to heighten. I didn’t want to feel it, but I knew I would, and I just had to check. 

I could blame it on my curiosity, but I've grown more than that. I knew it was my own doing. I knew that any pain felt as a result of checking that spam box, was brought on by myself. I knew at that point that I'd be responsible for my feelings thereafter. I knew that any frog in my throat or stone in my stomach would be of my own doing. I was ready to accept that, but I can't say I was ready for what I may have found. Are we ever? 

They say the reason you snoop for bad news is because you like it. You like being thrown for a loop. You like upsetting yourself. You like feeling like you got one-up on someone despite how much pain it causes. As if seeing the bad news before they tell you, is a prize. You like it. You probably love it. Because if you didn't why would you do it? Why would you check his messages if you didn't want pain to shatter your Thursday? Why would you invade his DMs if you weren't looking for tears to saturate your fresh face? 

Why do you routinely check for things you don’t want to see? Why pursue truths you don’t want to know? Why do you constantly go back to heartbreak you don't want to feel? 

A piece of you likes being hurt. A piece of you likes the sympathy you get from the tears you shed. Some of you like your anger being warranted. You like the attention you get from yelling and smashing vases against the wall. Perhaps you like the excitement of the drama you've been welcoming. Whatever it is, you like it. And I know it because you allow it. 

I know it because if you didn't like it, you wouldn't allow it. You would stop it; you'd stop unblocking them, you'd stop running back, you'd stop checking for the things that continue to hurt you. See that's how change happens. When you stop feeding the negative; stop welcoming the despair; when you cut off its supply, it stops. When there's no more phones to check, and no more man whose phone you should check, it stops. When there's no more baggage to carry, and no more source of the heartache you've endured, it stops. When you stop running back, it stops. When you decide you're tired of liking the things that bring you pain and make the conscious decision to let it all go, it stops.

We choose the things that enter our space; we allow them to enter. While some situations are uncontrollable, the amount of time we allow them to linger is totally up to us. We make that decision to let it stay. We make the decision to search for it. To respond to it. To let it sit in our chests.

We have this willful desire to search for information, hoping it won't be there, but knowing it will. A desire to go back to hurtful situations, with hopes that it'll change, but (most times) knowing it won't. The pain, though excruciating, excites us. And we'd rather be at the forefront of it happening—fully controlling when we feel it and how we find out—than in the background waiting for it all to explode. We want to feel the pain on our own terms. We want to take it in, absorb it, and handle it in our time. And by doing so—by searching for the bad—we only hurt ourselves. By fueling the negativity, be it your boyfriend, best friend, or internet stranger, we allow it to continue. We allow ourselves to constantly be dragged down by the mistreatment of those around us. And not for any other reason than because we let it happen.

So I inquire: before you check that e-mail, Instagram stalk your ex, or decide to take him back for the umpteenth time, why do you like pain so much? And when are you going to eliminate it? 

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