You Are NOT Your Pain


Depression is a cancer of the soul.

Yet you are not it.

No cancer patient is cancer.


Depression is barnacles encrusted around a boat’s hull. After a while, they seem and feel like a part of the ship.

But they aren’t.

With effort, they may be scraped off, revealing the boat underneath.


So with depression and anxiety and fear and doubt.

You’ve worn it like a coat of armor. Now, it feels inseparable from you.

But it’s NOT you.


Take a deep breath.


Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.


Then, look at your pain.

Hold it up to the light like a fascinating scientific specimen.

Turn it this way and that.


  • What is its shape?
  • How does it smell?
  • What is its texture? Is it jagged or smooth?
  • Is it heavy or light? Can you lift it? Throw it?
  • Does it fit in the palm of your hand or stretch out beyond the horizon?
  • If you threw it in a lake, would it float?
  • If you spun it on its axis, would it wobble?
  • If you served it on a plate, what would be the condiments?


I know, I know: those last few are a bit strange! If you want, come up with your own ways of interacting with your pain.

The point, in a nutshell, is this:

If you can interact with your pain…

…then you and it are not the same!

And if you and it are not the same…

…then it need not rule you.

claim your freedom

With time and work and guidance, you will make space for your pain.

You will cradle it tenderly, grateful for all it has taught you.

At last, when you are ready, you’ll





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