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  1. Mick Mouse
    Many of us are here because of pain. Whether it was getting habituated/addicted to prescription pain medications or using unlawful drugs to self-treat pain, whether it might be because you are just starting out in pain management or are trying to deal with a recent injury, or because you are searching for information regarding the treatment of such pain.

    But there are other kinds of pain that hurt just as bad, if not more than pain from injury. Pain that leaves scars just as deep, pain that takes just as long, if not longer, to heal. Often, these types of pain are over-looked or under-reported, or are just hidden or masked by the original, physical pain.

    There is the original pain of growing up. Many of us learn far too late, or never learn at all, that growing up is all about getting hurt. And then getting over it. You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good that you are going to get hurt again. And again. But each time, you learn something.

    Each time, you come out of it a little bit stronger, and at some point, you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There is the little empty pain of leaving something behind-graduating from school, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There is the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There is the sharp little pain of failure, along with the more obscure aches of successes that did not give you what you thought they would. there are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up or destroyed. the sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and then taking joy in their lives as they grow and learn, alongside the bitter-sweet pain of them leaving when they are all grown up. there is the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so that you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens, or help them with the final act of friendship in ending their pain.

    And if you are unbelieviably, incredibly lucky, there are a very few blazing hot little pain that you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last-and yet will remain with you for life. The birth of my daughter was such a moment for me. I knew, at that very instant, that I was not a failure. That no matter how my life turned out or what happened to me in the future, just for a minute, I was part of perfection.

    And yet, everyone is down on pain, usually because they have forgotten something that is vitally important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead do not feel it.

    Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it is a big part, and sometimes it is not, but either way, it is a big part of the puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, and tells you that you are alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that ever happens to you in life will involve it in some form or fashion, to one degree or another.

    I have a lot of pain. A lifetime worth. I hurt all the time, and it is not just physically.

    But I am strong because of it.

    What kinds of pain do you have?

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