1. injured, or feeling physical pain
2. feeling emotional pain, usually because of someone’s behavior
Hurt is like a disease. There are dozens of different kinds of hurt, though they’re all similar, like different strains of the same virus. Someone can give it to you, which is what Part One is about, but you can also just pick it up somewhere. It can come as the consequence of life circumstances. You can just be predisposed to it. No matter how it starts, the hurt virus gets inside you and lives and grows; and if it’s bad, sometimes it changes and evolves until it is no longer an action. It’s no longer hurtING… Hurt goes from being a verb, to being an adjective. Hurt becomes a characteristic, like blonde hair, or broad shoulders.
People who hurt mostly suffer the consequences in silence and alone. Mostly we pretend like the pain doesn’t exist and try to maintain who we were before. We don’t usually talk about it, not out loud, at least. We put on a show for the rest of the world when really we are just a few pieces taped together roughly in the shape of a person. We pay our bills. We do our work. We occupy the space we are supposed to… our seats at a concert… place at the table… role in the team… But we aren’t really there. Not completely.
We wonder if we’ll ever be NOT broken again. There is a constant search for some way past the hurt. We question if we’ve forever lost the ability to trust, to really enjoy life, to love and BE loved… to thrive. The hurt ones wonder if we’ll ever have value to ourselves, let alone anyone else. Who could care about someone who is so damaged and dirty?(even though we know consciously that we aren’t) We grasp at the notion that it could all be okay someday and try to force ourselves to believe it and hope for the day when we wake up and the darkness is gone.
That’s not to say there is necessarily resignation. We go on in whatever way we can. We still do things. People talk to us and we give advice. We honestly really do still really do care about things. It’s not like we suddenly become zombies incapable of feeling anything other than anguish, disgrace and languor, though there is a lot of that. We keep most of our hobbies. We just hurt while we do it. So, we distract ourselves from the hurt. Sometimes by running away. We write about riding, drinking, running. We try to convince ourselves that it’ll be okay if we just are patient. We try to define ways of looking at our world that make it brighter, and rules to help us avoid making future mistakes. We don’t enjoy things the way we once could; we hurt, but we still try. Like Running Doctor says, If we stop trying, what do we have left??
So what’s the point? What’s the solution? What’s the message?
First off… I don’t know what. If you want a flowery, optimistic message, look here. This is not that. These are observations.
Yeah, some people eventually succumb to the hurt. Marco Pantani, Ernest Hemingway, Junior Seau, Robin Williams, Dave Mirra, David Foster Wallace, Ryan Freel. There are plenty of examples of people whose greatness and ultimately death alike, were clearly driven by their hurt. Look them up. It’s worth learning their stories.
Untimely demise isn’t the only outcome though… let’s not be dramatic and fatalistic…
This whole project is about coping and talking about it. I guess I think that’s the best we can hope for. It means we are still trying; we’re still fighting the fight. It helps to hear that even some of the highest achievers… Michael Phelps, Jerry West, Brandon Marshall… are fighting the same fight. The last 6 weeks and HSV have taught me a lot about stigma, and there’s just as much stigma about mental health. Having some high profile people open up about it helps out the rest of us.
People not being assholes also helps.
I don’t have the answer to what the meaning of hurt is or how to ultimately live with it. If I did, I wouldn’t be writing this. Furthermore, there aren’t just two categories; perpetrators and victims. I’ve hurt people too, and the fact that I have BEEN hurt doesn’t make it okay. We’re pretty much all guilty on some level. Hurt is a mess. I don’t know what the point, the solution or the message is. Like said, these are observations.
I’m observing that I’m hungry. And I want to ride my bike.