[Sober Living] Reign Your Pain

Don’t run from your pain! Whether it’s a something physical like an injury or something mental like ennui, learn to embrace that pain. Pain will remind you of your motivations more than the seduction of any numbing pleasure. Pain will be with you always. Pleasure is fleeting and addicting. Pleasure will leave you in both your darkest hours and when everything seems wonderful, whereas when disciplined properly, pain will be motivation toward achieving your goals.

Let’s say this non-canonical Oni, a random minifigure, just had surgery.

Maybe his arm was chopped off and needed to be glued back on? During that gluing surgery, he received generalized anesthetics, temporarily feeling euphoria, because he was also feeling down about circumstances in life. So when the doctor over-prescribed painkillers to avoid fielding patient complaints, he overindulged, and found himself enjoying that time away from addressing his pains. When his prescription runs out, he can either return to reality or he can chase down escapism.

Let’s explore a hypothetical about why he was feeling down.

Maybe this character has encountered one too many defeats? Toyline villains can be self-conscious, too. Those defeats caused him insecurity because he based his self-worth on his victories. Instead of addressing his insecurities, performing actions like reinvigorating his schemes or maybe joining the winning team, he stews in anguish. Instead of thoroughly exploring his pain to find those insecurities, he impulsively finds cheap pleasures that don’t fill that void, which leave him feeling even worse.

Let’s say this fictionalized exaggeration finds himself in a deeper mess.

He’s been overindulging in painkillers for weeks, hasn’t won any battles in months, and now realizes that his life is spiraling out of control. What can he do? He’s figured out that his mental pain may go away in a fun intoxicated afternoon after taking some medication, acquired legally or illegally, but that pain is still there in the morning. The battle doesn’t win itself; the bill doesn’t pay itself; the pain doesn’t cure itself.

He can make some choices.

He can become a zombie, overindulge in painkillers, and end up not worrying about winning any more battles. Maybe he’s just not interested in fighting anymore? But what if he wants to return to his former glory? What if he wants to exceed his former self? Then he must work hard! He must forgo temporary pleasure and work through his pains. He must wake up every morning, embrace his previous mistakes, and proceed toward victory.

This is potentially anyone’s story that hasn’t embraced their pains.

By addressing your previous mistakes, and accepting that they’ve happened, you can work toward your brighter future. If you don’t, someone could use those mistakes against you. If you do, you won’t be phased. “Sure, I let you down before, but I won’t again!” To know that fully, you can use your pain as fuel to drive yourself toward your goals. It’s the greatest tragedy that we’re taught we’re perfect beings incapable of making mistakes.

Reign your pain.

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.