You Know You’re Getting Old When Pain Becomes Your Best Friend by
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Prompted By Pain

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Alright, alright alright, let’s talk about pain. You know, that delightful little companion that shows up uninvited and overstays its welcome. Physical pain, emotional pain, the whole damn seldom tasty buffet of pain. We’ve all been there, folks. The good news? You’re not alone. The bad news? It’s gonna happen again.

Now, the medical definition of pain is some fancy way of saying ‘it sucks’. You hurt physically and your body throws a tantrum. Makes perfect sense, right? But then you get this whole other emotional pain thing: Your significant other dumps you, your boss chews you out, your fantasy team that you bet on loses by a single point – suddenly, your insides feel like they’re getting wrung out by an overly enthusiastic masseur.

Here’s the kicker: everyone experiences pain differently. You got that dude at the gym grunting like he’s giving birth to a barbell while I’m over here wincing if I just look at my funny bone the wrong way. Same goes for emotional pain. One person cries over a sad movie, the next one uses it as an excuse to eat a gallon of ice cream. No judgment, by the way, been there, done that, both ways.

Now, let’s talk specifics, shall we? Physical pain: Remember when you were young and invincible? Yeah, me neither. These days, my back feels like a pretzel that’s been left out in the rain. Sleeping? More like lying in a vaguely uncomfortable position for eight hours, hoping it doesn’t turn into sciatica. And don’t even get me started on hangovers. Those are like the universe’s way of reminding you that tequila shots are a bad idea, even when my 22-year-old self didn’t listen.

Emotional pain? That one is a whole different beast. Breakups? Been there, done that, got the slightly-stalkerish ex blocked on everything. Job pain stuff? You bet your arse I have. There’ was nothing quite like the metaphysical dread that came from wondering if I wasted almost my entire adult life in a cubicle the size of a walk-in closet.

But here’s the thing about pain – physical or emotional – it to shall pass. You throw your back out shoveling the driveway? Ice, ibuprofen, and enough Netflix to make your brain melt eventually does the trick. Heartbroken because your soulmate turned out to be a lying, cheating…oh wait that was me. Time passes, psychological therapy helps (maybe), and definitely copious amounts of Chinese food takeout, all contribute to the healing process.

So to summarize: pain is a part of life. It’s gonna happen. But here’s the secret: you learn to deal with it. You find your coping mechanisms. You learn to laugh at the absurdity of it all, because trust me, sometimes that’s the only thing you can do. So the next time you’re doubled over in agony, physical or emotional, just remember – you are not alone. And hey, at least you know you’re still alive, right? Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go take a nap before my back gives out again.


Profile photo of Kevin Driscoll Kevin Driscoll
(Mostly) Vegetarian, Politically Progressive, Daily Runner, Spiritual, Helpful, Friendly, Kind, Warm Hearted and Forgiving. Resident of Braintree MA.

Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. Thanx Kevin for your always clever take on the prompt, and the reminder that we’ve all known pain – one kind or another!

  2. Khati Hendry says:

    You describe the ubiquity of pain so well, in many manifestations. So much depends on attitude and emotional significance as to how we handle it. Laughter and distraction are excellent medicine—thanks for a bit of both.

  3. Laurie Levy says:

    Very clever essay. I could really relate to this.

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