Numbness can be a terribly dangerous thing.
There’s a reason why dentists always warn us not to bite our tongues when we can’t feel our mouths, or why we cover ourselves from head to toe when treading through a snowstorm to avoid direct contact with the cold.
When we become numb, we lose our sense of limitation and ultimately, our sensibility. We think we’re safe, because nothing hurts. This can lead to a downward spiral if you don’t allow the numbness to wear off.
Whether it’s recovering from a bad breakup, losing a friend, or any form of loss in general, we have the tendency to develop thicker skin – sometimes too thick. We associate our pain with the negative outcomes from our past experiences and build our walls up higher than ever. Nothing can touch us, and we no longer put ourselves in the position to feel. Pain is a very complex and fluid experience that we feel interchangeably between the body and mind. It’s no surprise why some of us will do everything in our power to avoid feeling the same kind of pain twice.
I’ve had my days (even weeks) where I acknowledged every open wound as my body writhed in agony. But after a few too many of these experiences, it came to a point where I wanted this vicious cycle to end. I became numb. I pretended that the things that bothered me didn’t. The heart I wore so willingly on my sleeve found itself locked away in a place no one else could reach. After a while, I started to lose my sense of self. I realized I wasn’t meant to not feel – none of us are. Numbness can breed apathy, senselessness, and eventually, hopelessness. Human beings aren’t met to live in blocks of ice that pinch our nerves to oblivion.
There is plenty of talk about the fear of the ‘unknown’ when really, many of us suffer from the fear of what we already know. Pain changes you, yes. Sometimes the damage isn’t always irreversible, but the good news is that your body is constantly working to heal itself for the soul it houses.