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pain and suffering

With my recent injuries I have been meditating on pain. There is no way to avoid it. When I turn onto my left side I instantly regret it. Sometimes just by getting up or shifting in my seat I am aware of the bruise on my left hip - it really is in a bad spot.

If this were a once in a lifetime thing I might have a different attitude. However, having parents tell me "life is suffering" for the last twenty years has brought a few observations.

A month before the scooter spill I had a similar bicycle accident from which I still haven't quite recovered. In between were at least one if not two or three headaches. Then digging back just a bit farther I suffered from food poisoning and before that I experienced back pains for the first time in my life. I know somewhere in that time frame I had at least one light cold and probably a few stomachaches. Last year I was suffering from regular shoulder pain and before that I had a serious sinus infection or flu about every six weeks.

It seems that just as I am recovering from one physical ailment, another comes along. Is everyone like this? If not, am I weak or just sensitive?

Hanging out with numerous boys over the years I became aware of the fact that as children, they would fight for fun. Many of them also pulled legs off or froze live creatures. All seem equally repulsive to me. Perhaps I am misinterpreting things but I know that violence and the resulting pain seem much more common in boys lives than in my own. Granted, there were always accidents - falling trees, horses, and rope swings, spraining ankles and jumping on nails - but it was never purposely inflicted. We never walked brazenly into pain; it was always the result of doing a risky (but really fun!) activity.

So how do other people deal with pain? Do you walk into it willfully by provoking fights and biting your nails - if so how does that affect your view of it? Do you whine less and accept it more?

Or perhaps my reluctance to take drugs to quiet pain (if something is going to be tough on my liver I prefer it to get me drunk) is what makes me so sensitive and whiny? Some people I know seem to down ibuprofen without even thinking about it. As much as I loathe pain, I worry even more about what would happen to me if I didn't feel it - I take enough risks as it is.

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