On Pleasure and Pain

This is not a sex post. Sorry. My life is not nearly so exciting. But is a post about pleasure because who doesn’t want a bit or, indeed a lot, of that in their life?  Of course there are always two sides to a coin so pain is coming to the party, just so you know.Ceoec

I am in a relationship with pain. Pain is that friend who won’t let me go. One day perhaps. We can but hope, no, I have to hope because I don’t want to imagine the rest of my life locked up with him.  He’s not the best friend I ever had although he does tell me things, like if I am doing too much, or getting too stressed – he lets me know. And as much as I dislike the fellow, he can be useful.  I know when he peeks his head round the door to say hello that I have wondered onto thin ice and I  need to tread carefully.

I am talking about physical pain here, which I have experienced every day now for about three years.  My Dr can do no more than say yes it is there but we can’t help you, bye! And so I am alone with him, he lives in the cupboard under the stairs. I put him there in the hope that he  might turn out to be a wizard and I will get a pet owl. Physical pain is an in your face kind of guy, he’s a box of pins you can’t shut, when he’s there he is THERE!  IN NEON! But of course I could just as easily be talking about emotional pain and while not everyone has to deal with the joys of actual physical pain on a daily basis everyone has emotional pain lurking somewhere, under the bed, or in a drawer or wherever you like to keep him.  We are all in the wars one way or another.

Of course they all have invisibility cloaks (sorry, sorry, I got on the Harry Potter train, I don’t know why when there was a perfectly good sex train at the start of this post.  I seem to have missed that one. I must have been on the wrong platform – story of my life).  Pain is invisible to the outside world.  It’s an odd thing to feel pain and know that nobody knows.  Sometimes I wish my hair turned orange when I started to feel sore so that people would know if I was being a bit of an arse then that’s probably why.  Pain makes me grumpy, sad, confused, depressed.  Recently, however, it also made me curious.  And I like curiosity.  It’s a fun friend.

So I am talking about Fara. Of course Because I am going to be talking about Fara FOREVER people. It was that kind of experience.  You’ll just have to suffer it. Or stop reading.  I won’t know (Or will I? That’s not a threat. Or is it?)  See in Fara I was in a wee fight with the pain.  Because I was working on the edge of what I can sustain physically.  Which I hate because it makes me feel like I am a lazy person and I don’t believe that, sometimes I want to wear a teeshirt that says I used to run 10k three times a week just so people know I was once quite fit.  Lazy or not my body is somewhat allergic to exercise.  I’ve had several failed attempts to get back to the gym. I love the gum. The gym does not love me, not anymore, and he doesn’t want me back it would seem.  So I am fighting this pain and a funny thing happened.

First there was the pain.  Then there was the fear of the pain. So far so Slytherin. This is usually as far as I get to be honest because the pain scares the shit out of me.  And it’s not totally unfounded.  Pain could mean flair up,  could take me out,  could mean all sorts of nasty things come crashing into the house to beat me up.  The fear comes from having to teach shitty second year classes when I was already feeling like hell on wheels and knowing that by the end of it I would be in a much worse state than when I started and that not only  was I powerless to stop it but that nobody really believed me and when I got home that night I wouldn’t be well enough to read my own little boy a bedtime story.  It comes from endless situations where I have had to pretend to be well even when I felt like my body was about to totally give out on me.  This blog is one of the few places I am honest about how unwell I often feel, mostly I tell lies. If you can talk to snakes you don’t let people know, it turns them off big time.

So there is the pain, then there is the fear of the pain, and because I was in this beautiful place, doing this beautiful work some other things started to appear.  First there was some space.  And that was a curiosity. I found, to my surprise, that I could be in the pain and still be, well me.  That there was some wiggle room in it to stay connected to myself and, in turn, to the work.  I could actually play in that pain.  It was a different kind of playing to be sure, but it wasn’t an impossible kind of playing.  I was working from where I was.  I could swim in that pain instead of drown.  And from that place a different kind of knowledge was possible, because although I experience pain every day, it ebbs and flows, just like the work we were doing, just like the sea.  So there is pain, and then later there will not be pain.  So in the pain, in the space to play, there is this nugget of gold that has This To Will Pass carved into its side.

And so it did. And nine times out of ten it passed after we had done our first dance.  Which in part was a timing thing. I am often in a lot of pain first thing in the morning and then again in the afternoon for a spell.  In-between the pain buggers off to the cupboard to practice his Patronus Charm. He’s not far, I can hear him, but he’s leaving me in peace for a bit.  So yes, it was partly the timing of the day, the time of our first dance coincided with the time pain had patronus practice. But I think there was something else at play.  The other side of the coin. Pleasure.

Because Pleasure is great.  We love that.  Pleasure is the friend you can’t quite believe really likes you.  I am in love with him. Or her. Because while my pain is definitely  male,  Pleasure gets to be all things. Pleasure is sexy like that.  And I don’t think I’ve found much in life that gives me more pleasure than the work I was doing out in Fara.  It’s rooted in pleasure already, that’s the foundation of the work but also for me it’s just a joy to have permission to dance, especially as a non-dancer, and also to connect, really connect with other people. Not something there is enough of in life which I find odd, but then other people find me odd so it works both ways.  So often I found we did our first dance and by the end of it the pain was on the fringes of me again.  Present, but distant.  Far enough away for me to turn my back on  him and pretend he wasn’t there.  Pleasure had danced him out of the room.

So, in the absence of my Dr doing anything useful I am prescribing myself lots and lots of pleasure.  I want it in all it’s forms, I want to stuff my face with the stuff. Because why not? Because it’s great and because pain is living in the cupboard under my stairs whether I like it or not. It’s probably living in you too.  So feed yourself up on the little things that light you up and the big, hairy things that light you up. Because there is the pain, and usually you can’t do a thing about it, it’s ugly mug is there, and then there is the fear.  The fear you can do something about, the fear you can send packing. It doesn’t have a licence to practice magic, not in your house, not without your permission.  So report the bastard to the Ministry of Magic, kick it out the front door and then run through the house, turn the lights on in every room and let them burn.

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