ASH AMBIRGE

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Working Yourself to DEATH: A Twisted Badge of Honor Reserved for The People Who Are Really Hurting

In: Hard Stuff, Life,

I remember when I was a little girl, I had a brilliant way of dealing with problems:

Take one slice of American cheese.
Fold it into fours.
Pile two squares onto each cracker.
Get as many crackers onto the plate as you could.

They say that some people “stuff down their pain” with food, but I think it’s the opposite:

You want your pain to be noticed by somebody else.

It’s the only way you can show just how much it really, really sucks. Otherwise, being happy and well-adjusted and “moving on” from whatever’s ailing us means that we weren’t hurt, the way we were. That our experience wasn’t that bad.

And so we invent ways to hurt ourselves to keep us there, locked in the shitstorm, so the external experience matches the internal one. The weight gain / the alcohol / the lack of self-care / the working yourself to the bone signals how much pain you’ve been through, like a twisted badge of honor.

But sometimes, the greatest badge of honor is not a battle scar, but a battle ax.

What you know, now, is a weapon, if you use it right.

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