July 16, 2014

I’m Not Gandhi for F@#k’s Sake: Loving Someone Who’s in Pain.

Photo: Courtesy of author.

Caution: naughty language ahead.

I sat down on the rough, wooden bench next to him and lit a cigar.

I’d only taken one sip of my coffee, and one inhale/exhale of my grape flavoured cigar before he got up, turned and went inside without a word. It felt like the most unemotional turn that had ever happened between two people

I sat on that bench, watching him and his wrinkled, grey t-shirt go inside.


His mood has been . . . flat for the past few days. He’s been in a depressive state. Comatose. Not himself. Life has undoubtedly turned to shit for him, and I’ve been attempting to “be there” for him during all of this. That being said, each day my own insecurities mount and it’s hard not to take his blah-I-don’t-give-a-shit mentality a bit personally.

I’m not Gandhi for fuck’s sake. I’ve got my own storm, too.

I think the worst thing in the world is feeling totally powerless.


Not knowing where you stand with a person, or if you’re even approaching things the right way.

Being the control freak I’ve apparently turned into over the years, I don’t fare well with any of the above. I try though, because I love him, and seeing him in pain sucks.

Sometimes I get so pissed off, because I just want to be a big enough source of happiness for him.

I want to save/help/heal him with every particle of my flesh, but I can’t, it’s not up to me. Moments like these force feed the truth to me—he’s a grown man, and he can do it for himself.

I need to remember this.

Pain is the one common ground we have as humans. We’ve all tasted its bitterness in our mouths, we’ve all got scars that are so much more than just scars—they’re stories, and we all bleed.

All pain is equal. All pain is experienced in the body the same way. My “knowledge” doesn’t negate another’s inherent intuition on the matter. Sometimes sitting in silence with another is the most beautiful act of kindness.

No words, just presence.

One of the hardest things in the world is letting someone figure out how to read their own, karmic map—to work through things the way they need to without imposition, excruciating as it may be.

One person’s answers are not always another person’s answers.

My answers are not necessarily his answers.

This is how I’ve learned how to love someone in pain.


Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Apprentice Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Courtesy of author.

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

H. Christin