When “Unpleasant” Could Feel Much Worse

This is a different topic and one that is kind of difficult to explain, but I want to try to type out a few words about it tonight. Sometimes when I am exposed to a small amount of unfavorable stimuli, it makes my brain work. I end up thinking about how the unpleasant sensation I experienced would feel if it was 100X worse.

This morning I went to take a shower in the locker room after my workout. For whatever reason, there was no hot water today. The water that gushed out of the shower head was ice cold. I did what I could to dodge the stream while washing myself but there is only so much you can do if you really want to get clean. I had no choice but to stand under the shower head when the time came to wash my hair. The unforgiving freezing water seemed to send my body into shock as it splashed against my head and funneled down on my shoulders and back.

The cold shower seemed to take my breath away. As I walked from the shower area to my locker, a vision played in my head. I was visualizing myself ice fishing. I could see a blizzard type situation in -20 degree temperatures. In the middle of this picture was a thickly frozen over lake with a circle cut out in the very middle. I visualize myself fishing in the circle, icicles forming on my face. Suddenly, the ice cracks and I fall in. My body sinks in deep unforgiving freezing waters and I slowly drown. How would that feel?

I take the uncomfortable moment I had just a couple minutes ago and realize that thousands of people have experienced moments much, much worse than what I just did. Although my recent moment felt unbearable at the time, others have really known what it is like to be cold.

Have you ever stood too close around a bonfire when someone adds fuel to it? The byproduct from the flames might touch your skin and at that moment you realize there is nothing more savage than raw heat. The feeling of getting burned or almost getting burned is torturous. The times I have felt the whispers of flames made me think about one thing: burning to death.

I could not fathom going out that way. Having flames pass by my body is brutal enough…but being engulfed in them?

One final example. Every now and then I will have a tough time sleeping because of nightmares. I will lay in my bed and the second I close my eyes the bad dreams immediately start. When nightmares overcome you in the middle of the night nothing is scarier, even if you will just be able to laugh them off in the morning. It is at these points in the dark of the evening that I realize a tiny fraction of what hell must be like. To me, nothing is more miserable than feeling paralyzed by fear.

I rarely go this deep in my blog posts but my shower today really seemed to “wake me up.” No matter how in pain or uncomfortable we are, things could always be a lot worse. Don’t Blink.