Home » “Only Antidote to Mental Suffering is Physical Pain.”

“Only Antidote to Mental Suffering is Physical Pain.”

Sometimes I wonder about my ability to withstand pain; but more often, I wonder about my will to withstand it.  Pain is naturally aversive.  We get our first impressions of this from the time we violently leave the comfort of the womb only to be thrust into a loud, cold, bright and inconceivable environment.  As we grow and explore our world we are continuously met with pain in a variety of ways – from the frustration of learning we are not the center of the universe when our parents stop responding to our every infant cry, disappointment when things don’t go our way, discomfort of being disciplined to learn to adapt to the demands of our family (on a small scale) and society (on a large scale), to actual physical pain.  All of which, we naturally try to  avoid.

I slammed my toe when I was 7 into a heavy door, nearly breaking it and suffered through the agony of barely being able to walk as I watched my bleeding discolored nail fall off over the course of a week.  I learned never to run down the stairs as fast as my little body could carry me.  The experience was so horrible, it really did teach me something.  I really really DID want to avoid it.  However,  interestingly enough – I was running down the stairs to escape a kind of emotional pain, although make no mistake – I had no intention of running into a door.

Anyway, I was at a relative’s house and this family had a snake.  As some of you know if you follow my tweets, I’m an avid animal lover.  This relative knew this, yet still found some great pleasure in forcing me to watch while he picked up baby mice… struggling, squirming, pink, warm little bodied and helpless creatures, and slowly and deliberately fed them individually to this large, hissing monster.

I remember feeling horrified and vulnerable, and my pleas and attempts to reason with this person were met with ridicule.  I couldn’t leave then and was forced to watch, but when it was time to go I ran so fast and furiously down the steps that I couldn’t stop myself.  I literally could not stop until the door made it clear I couldn’t run through it.  It wasn’t long before my screams had everyone in a panic, that coupled with the pain of my throbbing enlarged toe created quite a distraction.  A needed one.  Suddenly I forgot about the half swallowed body of a newborn mouse dangling hopelessly in the jaws of the snake.  Maybe it didn’t work in the long term, because the vivid memory still invokes feelings of horror and dread… but in the moment, it probably saved my little mind.

After coming across a quote on twitter, I began to think.  Karl Marx said, “the only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain.”  Although this might not be true for everyone – this, I have found, has become the marker of my existence.  It nicely coincides with Emile Cioran’s belief that, “The limit of every pain is an even greater pain.”  This undoubtedly explains a large part of my masochism, both of the physical and mental variety.

I often find it the case that the infliction of physical pain (in my case – mostly spanking related) eases the heavy burden of mental agony.  That is why I am both able and willing to experience physical pain, and sometimes quite intense amounts of it.  Naturally there is much more that goes into this from a psychological perspective, including the fact that this pain is my choice.  It’s optional, whether I am in a D/s lifestyle relationship or not.  If I am in a relationship, there is a certain element of implied consent in terms of accepting pain as punishment.  And if I am interacting with someone for different reasons outside a personal relationship, it is most definitely my decision.  I choose this (partially) because after many years in intensive therapy, I find this an easier and equally effective solution – at least in those short term moments when I want to off myself because the mental pain is too intense to be handled, the memories too haunting to be conquered…

Interestingly enough, spanking does help me.  The pain, the screaming, crying, begging, struggling… it all culminates in this extremely cathartic experience (expect in the case of a real punishment, which ends with a great frustration that has to be submitted to, and from which the only solace to be found is in the actual submission).

There have been many mental and physical ailments I have suffered through that have been cured by a spanking – most notably experimental spankings to cure things from anxiety to massive head problems.  A special someone decided spanking must be the cure after watching me suffer through this.  And maybe it was the bond between us and my very conscious desire that she not feel bad should spanking not be the cure, that my consciousness thwarted any negative interference and just let the spanking work.   Or she had supernatural powers.  Perhaps a combination.  Whatever the case, it helped me.  I had no say in how hard or how long the process was, but she just seemed to know exactly what to do.  It drew the illness out of me.  Is it permanent, no.  But the only way to experience genuine relief is to know what it is like to truly be bound to that pain you need relief from.  Pain and Relief are sort of complementary states and usually neither one  is permanent.  Even in the most extreme of circumstances, there is always a fluctuation, no matter how subtle or benign.

Moving along, how do I cope when I am in emotional pain and not in a situation where I find relief in this particular way? Unfortunately, a greater pain steps in to replace a lesser one.  Or I wouldn’t necessarily always say greater, but something so distracting I can’t keep entirely focused on the predominant pain that is haunting me.  So when emotional pain is afflicting me and I have no outlet to release it, I usually become encumbered with physical illnesses that are so debilitating I have trouble functioning overall in life.

Nobody would believe that the person who is writing these words behind the computer screen with 13 vitamin capsules, 3 ice packs, 2 body braces, a $33 tube of jointflex cream and 7 prescription bottles (non-narcotic) beside her who has been to the doctor about twice a week the past several months (on average) is the same person who you have perhaps seen endure the kind of spanking that would give many masochists a run for their money.  In reality, it doesn’t make any sense.  But I can tell you this, I have never been cognizant of any physical ailment during a spanking (whether it be erotic, punishment, pure play, for a demonstration, video, whatever).  This does not mean these conditions were not there. Once I had fallen over the edge of the bed and started crying and panicking because I fell on  my shoulder and thought I pinched a nerve.  A Mistress decided putting me over her knee and spanking me would fix it.  Much to my surprise, it did.  By the time I was off her lap, I had pretty much forgotten about my shoulder.  Perhaps this has to do with the chemical side of what happens during a spanking, the release of endorphins and the fact that it can often give a person the feeling of being “high,” without all the nasty side effects of actual drugs. (More on this in another blog, which I intend to write once I do a little more research on it.  I’ve already come across some very interesting things, which I do plan to share).

And to make it clear, I don’t rely on spanking as a cure entirely.  Naturally, that would be silly.  I have been doing many things to try to better my spirit and my body that are non-spanking related.  I have changed my diet.  I have been exercising.  I’ve been keeping myself busy with hobbies that bring me pleasure, like spending time with my animals, de-cluttering, cleaning, gardening, etc. but the pain is starting to  prevent me from doing these things – which does not help the depression.  It’s like a cycle.

I know I will come out of it, I just don’t know when.  This month is particularly challenging on all fronts. As for being free of this physical pain,  there is some possibility that I might find comfort when the source of the emotional pain is somehow relieved, if it ever is.  That might instantly signal my body to stop fucking me up.  Or, I might not get the comfort I need at all.  I might have to move on and deal with the frustration and rage and a whole host of feelings and just deal with it.

I’ll have to draw on all my positive resources which helped me get through one difficult situation and use my mind power to talk my body out of whatever the hell it’s doing, because it’s really off its target here.  It’s very important to have that mind body connection.  If they can’t communicate effectively, there’s really going to be some problems in the long run. Some people are masters, I am not one of them.  And it does make me worse for the wear, which is why I am determined to one day conquer it.  A daunting process, I can tell.  And I am left wondering whether or not a spanking would relieve some of these conditions, or at least give me a temporary and much needed reprieve.

But getting back to the original point, I do find that that my willingness to endure pain in a controlled manner is often the result of an inability to deal with other pain that I feel powerless over, whether it be physical or emotional.  Some very judgmental people in my life have likened this to dependency or even addiction and mental illness.  I chalk this up to ignorance mostly, because I feel that D/s can be beautiful with the right person, that spanking can be therapeutic and that it builds character because it takes a lot of fucking guts to stand up to people who seem to have a preoccupation with knocking you down.  It takes courage and pride to stand up for what you believe in, and who you believe in – including yourself.  It takes intelligence and empathy to embrace a lifestyle that is not conventional, whether you are any of the varieties of “Top” or “bottom.”  It takes much resolve, self-acceptance and reflection to stay steadied on a constantly cracking foundation.

It is my intention to make sure, somehow, someway and always – that what I have done and what I am doing is a positive and healthy lifestyle choice.  Sometimes I have doubts, as we all do.  But I don’t want to look back at my life when it’s too late and have to wonder if all I have ever been was a person who has made a career of running into doors.

 

3 Responses to ““Only Antidote to Mental Suffering is Physical Pain.””

  1. This is… incredibly relatable and honest.
    Thanks a lot for posting this.

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