Forget-me-yes

This weekend, in an attempt to be a healthy person, I decided a brisk walk in the fresh air would do me some good. Plus, any excuse to play some more Pokemon Go is a valid one, I figured. Gotta hatch them eggs somehow, right? So I tugged on some sweatpants, a shirt and a usually-way-too-hot hoodie and set out for a round of the town. In the cold.

Now, in case you’d missed the memo, we’re nearing the end of the year. It’s December now, meaning that it was the end of November this past weekend and it was REALLY REALLY COLD outside. Something I had not properly grasped after being corona-cooped up for a good week or so, only walking the distance from my door to my car and car to the supermarket and back. But it was only 5 degrees and the wind was unforgiving as I steppity-stepped my way to the first Poke-gym.

I suppose if I’d actively walked the entire hour that I was gone, I may have been writing an entirely different blog, but as it stands – my walk was interrupted by 5 to 10 minute breaks on several occasions to battle in a pokegym or catch a particular set of Pokémon etc. Standing still. In the middle of November, in only a hoodie and no gloves.

Let me tell you, as I was making my way through the last 200 meters back to my house, my hands had frozen to the point that I could barely feel them anymore (or register my finger touching the screen, let alone hold the phone steady). While at the same time they were HURTING like a motherfucker from the intense bonebiting cold in my extremities.

And I knew right there and then that I would be fucked as soon as I made it home.
IF I made it home at all, without perishing into an icesculpture in the final stretch (I may have a slight dramatic streak, remember?). Because as soon as I walked inside my always 23 degree (Celsius) tropical apartment….feeling would start to return to the parts that were currently at risk for frostbite and IT. WOULD. HURT.

I wasn’t wrong. I was not. Wrong. About that.
I made it home. Managed to drop my phone on the charging pad in the bathroom while somehow folding my no-longer-bending fingers around the faucet to run a hot bath. Shivering. Shaking. And in pain from the tingling heat now suddenly making its way through my fingers. I was SO intensely cold that my mind couldn’t even grasp how cold I was anymore. Like I’d always been a teeth chattering, barely moving mess of a person.

And then I stepped into the bathtub. People of the internet reading this blog: I cried.
I legit cried – I was in so much pain from the scalding water on my deepfrozen-limbs protesting such treatment. My hands were so cold that it felt like I was dipping them into actually boiling water (while it was actually a usually pleasant normal warm bath). I couldn’t bare holding them in the water for the first few minutes. My chest was constricted from the pain. Every part of me felt like it was being poked with 1000s of small needles and it HURT SO DAMN MUCH. And as I sat there hating myself for wanting to play Pokémon so badly that I’d turned myself into a popsicle – I cried. And warmed up. And cried while warming back up.

But then this amazing thing happened.

Ten minutes later I was pushing my little rubber duckie around the tub like I didn’t spend the past 30 minutes pondering a quicker way to perish than freezing to death in a bathtub. The pain had subsided in the warm embrace of the water and, as pain tends to do, been scrubbed clean from my memory. It’s true. We humans (and animals too, I’m just generally assuming) FORGET pain quicker than I forget the names of the dudes I swipe left on Tinder. It’s an evolutionary thing, even. There’s LOADS of research into the way we cope with pain and the memory of it. Basic pains that threaten our survival (like don’t touch the mean fire. And ovens hurt. And dropping knives on your foot means you should probably pull yourself out of the way in time) are remembered vividly and connected to basic reflexes (muscles operating without being told to to prevent bodily harm). But certain pains? We forget. Like. Entirely.

That is how women – after going through the excruciating hardships of labor – suddenly find themselves months after considering another baby. Without being able to conjure up just how fucking bad it hurt to push a watermelon sized child through a birth canal. Pain just wiped from the brain. Endorphins cheating us into thinking another go would be a brilliant plan. Same for tattoos. We forget the OMFG THIS HURTSness of that needle jabbing ink under our skin and find ourselves wanting another, and another and another soon after. Completely forgetting the AUTSCH.

As soon as the hurting stops for these types of pains – our brain forgets it. Try actively recalling how you felt that one time you broke your xxx. Or that night you stubbed your toe while getting a glass of water. Or when you banged your head into a cupboard. You can remember THAT it hurt, but the actual pain? You can’t recall that. You just can’t. You’re programmed to forget the specifics.

Key ingredient: You have to stop hurting – first. The pain has to subside, disappear and be absent for a while and POOF. No memory. No more. But afterwards? You’re brand new. As if you hadn’t just suffered extensively for a prolonged period of time in the worst of ways. You sit there in the bathtub, wondering if you just imagined the almost-dead-sensation of extremities trying to kill you for making them cold.

But it’s something to hold on to. Right?
Because heartbreak (I know this from the past) is one of these types of pains. At some point after having your heart broken you WILL stop hurting. And once you do – the memory of the pain you felt WILL disappear until you suddenly find yourself in a future where you can barely even recall how bad you were hurting (and why) and are willing to give it another go. Cause we’re evolutionary stupid like that.

Yaknow what though?
I can’t wait.
Bring on the memory wipe. ASAP. Please. Pretty please?!
Just to be sure I’ll dive into the tub again. It worked for my cold fingers. Maybe it’ll work for my heartache too.

29 thoughts on “Forget-me-yes

  1. If you don’t like 5°C because it is bitterly cold, you don’t want to come where I live. In Minnesota, that temperature warrants putting on shorts or a miniskirt. Seriously. Some people go for t-shirts and shorts as soon as water won’t freeze anymore. Some never convert if they aren’t going to be outside for more than a few minutes at a time.

    We’re used to January/February weather that doesn’t cross the -18°C threshold for the whole two months, for reference.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for making me smile!!! Plus I learned another “word”…you can’t beat education, right? OMG is good. OMFG is brilliant and I will plan to use it as often as is humanly possible:) P.S. I, too, am from Minnesota. And just for the record…I almost hate the sun so it’s a good fit…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m probably exaggerating a little. I know there are billions of people in the world worse off than me, and I know others who have been through much more difficult ordeals than I have ever experienced. But I really can’t think of a time when I wasn’t in some kind of emotional pain, between being bullied constantly as a kid, being rejected and alone as a teen and a young adult, having a pastor tell me at age 28 that I wasn’t allowed to talk to women at church because I was creepy and scared them off, and spending most of my 30s among people openly hostile to my lifestyle and beliefs and thus feeling I had to hide big parts of myself from them. Even when I think back to what feels like happier times, like the times I’m writing about now, I tend to remember the good parts and forget about the ways that I was rejected by women and cliques. And all the bad news around me now in 2020 certainly doesn’t make me feel any better.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Walking Around Our
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    i Sing True Our Neighbor
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    Wind Chill Taking
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    My God Fred
    Where are
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    Pants

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    Not Everyone

    Lives in Florida Style Cold😜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s funny how much life has evolved, yet our brains still work like we are in the stone age! Hope your tooties are all warmed up now and your heart is starting to forget the pain xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Z, I so love reading your what you write! If you put it on audio and I closed my eyes and listened to you I would swear we were in a conversation, well narration face to face!! Love how you and your words put a smile on my face! Oh, by the way, I think they recommend you using cold water to slowly warm yourself up if you are severely cold and work up to hot water from there! Just hoping to save your skin from the pain of next time. Ha I know there won’t be a next time because you will bundle up better! LOL!
    xoxox 😂🤣😘💕💖✨✨

    Like

  6. Good post to highlight the analogy between pain of a relationship and frostbite. Often people in the midst of breakup of grief do not think it will pass, but you are right it will. Living in a tropical country, I never realized how the cold could hurt so much. I thought the extremities just went numb. But in Iceland, I felt that pain. As you rightly pointed out, it passes.

    Like

  7. Reblogged this on Notes and commented:
    No pain ever disappears in the void. It is simply folded as a new layer deeper inside ourselves what defines us ultimately who the heck we all are. I am never interested in nobody’s happy past present or future. Its only their pains that bring me closer to them. I want to share, soothe and heal if possible each of us no matter if actual healing ever happens. At least we tried 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

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