There are different phases of pain. Any pain. Any chronic pain.
Let us talk about the headache – the kind of pain that some of us have.
There is this headache that just stays and during the initial days of its stay, it makes you feel quite uneasy.
There never is a moment of mindfulness or any clarity. An unfriendly heaviness clouds the mind almost all the time. You stay in this phase of pain for a long time – or perhaps it just seems long because there hardly is anything that you could do to fight it back. No hangouts, distractions or music can soothe it out.
Then after some time (maybe a year or even more), you bring yourself to a point where you are kind of comfortable with it. Like you can make a phone call to a dear person and have a real conversation. However, this pain always remains in the background but it doesn’t make you feel uneasy to the extent that you wished you didn’t exist. You are aware and cautious. You know that you don’t have to pay attention to it. It has become more like a stubborn, spoilt teenager who has discovered what pisses you off and would continue doing it as long as you pay attention. They settle down as soon as you stop to care.
Then comes the phase when the pain finally stops reminding you of its existence. It becomes so abstract that you can barely recognize it – not until you have been left alone with it. It becomes more like a piece of background music. Most of the time, there are so many things going on in your life that it almost makes the background music sound faded.
It is more or less like you are having a cup of tea with your wife on a Sunday morning and you rest your head on your hand while talking about the new movie trailer you watched last night. She asks you – “Do you have a headache”? In all your senses, you reply with – “No, not a headache. I just feel unusual“.
Now, this is the phase of your pain at which you don’t just stop acknowledging its existence but also become unaware of it.