Present Minded Pain
Your perception of time slows down, prolonging the uncomfortable sensation and other regular functions like breathing and heartrate shift noticeably. These alterations manifest a rare and unusual sense of present mindedness we simply do not experience in the absence of pain. A state of mind where you feel every little ache at the site of pain. You can feel the tiny muscles twitching, your veins dilating to increase blood flow, functions that occur many times a second normally, become prominent during an aching or painful state.
You have no choice but to abstain agency over the situation, you’re at the mercy of your own body as pain wraps itself around you, like a python asphyxiating its prey.
This came to me one night when I was awoken by excruciating pain in my mouth. The pain killers I had taken at 11:00pm had contained the venomous serpent within my body yet by 5:00 am they had worn off and a ferocious basilisk had returned. I could do nothing but wait until the new ones kicked in, I lay there aching.
The room was pitch black, and with all my senses drained I became fixated on the one, overwhelming experience I was enduring, pain. I ceased control over my situation and my bodily functions began to slow, heightening the communication between my mind and body. I could feel all four nerve endings (that had been inside my wisdom teeth that morning) twitch. I could taste the salty flavour of blood seeping out from beneath the dissolvable thread. I could detect my heartbeat in all four corners of my mouth honing in on the points of extraction.
The pain in my body had formulated a new state of mind, a new way of understanding my own experience. By removing something from my body I now felt more in sync and infinitely closer. Soon enough the codeine kicked in and I departed to dreamland almost instantly.
Pain has the capacity to draw our consciousness into the present moment, its dominating experience draws all energy and focus to the site. This state of present mindedness is not only one of the most powerful forms but remains exclusive to pain.