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Thinking over….pain

The last couple of days I am in pain; my upper left gums have swollen. In my effort to release the pain, I was even pushing harder over them, triggering “sweet” pain… you know? the sort of masochistic pain that got me thinking about (self-inflicting) pain and love. You might wonder now what my gums have in common with love, well, let me enlighten you!


Often times we find ourselves experiencing pain on a physical level, where in our quest for relief we unconsciously inflict even some more pain. We are willing to try anything that could take away the discomfort, so we end-up down the “homeopathic” way: be it a medication or some sort of manipulation over the source of pain. And in that brief encounter with the “sweet pain” we self-inflict, we feel a sharp, short sensation of alleviation. In other words, we tend to confront pain by inducing even more pain with the expectation of rejoicing.  Likewise, when in love, we might find ourselves in pain. We get hurt because of non-reciprocal feelings, because of a break-up, infidelity or an abusive relationship and instead of putting things to an end, taking a step back, some will compromise, some will add up to their misery more pain by creating “painful” fantasies that he/she won’t do it again that he/she will love us back. Whether we find ourselves consciously or unconsciously in paralysing, unhappy situations that forces us to settle for something less and more painful, it is our everlasting hoping combined with the deadly force of the habit and the fear of the unknown that become undoubtedly “tombstones” to our happiness and emanate more pain.


My gums still hurt and I still think of passing my toothbrush over them or floss a bit harder but I won’t. Unfortunately, I had to learn the painful way that “sweet” self-inflicting pain will momentarily give you a quick fix but it won’ t take away the pain. On the contrary, it will make it worse; the area can get infected and the pain will built-up on its intensity.

When you are stuck in an unhealthy relationship or you get fixated over someone that does not care about you in return, then you are in pain. Submitting to unpleasant situations or enduring emotional turmoils is in a way self-inflicting pain on an emotional/mental level. By neglecting your true “needs” and serving your desperate “wants” you get blind-sided, thus inviting more pain in your life.  And while you are enduring this pain, you are sacrificing parts of you. Reality bites! Why do we persist on patterns that do not guarantee pain-relief? Pain is part of life and practicing acceptance takes courage.

I finally decided to get some help and so I went to the pharmacist. The pain has not been fully soothed but at least I am dealing with it in a proper manner. On the other hand, as far as the emotional pain is concerned, a chemist cannot fix your broken heart but family, good friends and lots of self-love can. All of us have the inner strength to overcome painful situations, all we need to do is ask for support when needed. Embrace your pain knowing that life is in constant flux and situations can change. My gums may take another day or two to heal. A broken heart? will depend on your self-awareness. Oh! and giving yourself the space and time to heal the wounds and to learn from past mistakes.    

Chryssa Panou

Born in the city, raised in the countryside: vibrant urban rythms mixted with nature's colours run in my blood. A citizen of the world, a devoted European and a proud Greek, this multicultural aspect of life fascinates me and broadens my horizons. A city encouranges me to respect our differences but empowers me to believe in equality for all. My personal "journey to Ithaka" is finding my place in the universe and its place in me. My motto: "Life is Love and Love is You".

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