I am routinely told by others that they view my comedy as honest because they are incapable of speaking of the same thing themselves. Either their divorce is just too painful or their family member was just too close. I assure my divorce and loss of siblings were quite painful and they were quite close. The fundamental difference is that when I have a bruise, I push it. I push it until the pain isn’t there. When you’re cut, your body tells you. But it also doesn’t stop telling you. You simply block it out. You adapt.

This is the only advice I can give to someone dealing with pain.

I am cut, I simply don’t listen to it. I push it when it flares up and dive into it. Lean into the wind. How? By talking about it. To others, yourself, crowds, therapists (I suppose), and any other method you can find. I write, big surprise, and find that no matter how you choose to express pain, you are better for it. The quality is irrelevant.

But no one wants to hear about it! No one understands! Both of these are addressed BY talking about it. A depressing thought or sad idea can sit in your mind and you’ll never take responsibility for it. Why? It’s a thought! I can just tweak it or ignore it and besides, it’s my mind where no one knows what lurks! Those are problems not benefits. SAY IT. Express yourself.

Your thoughts can get very dark sometimes. Saying it makes it real. It’s there. In stone, in time, in someone else’s head. Now you have to take responsibility. It removes the ability to ignore your own problems.

But what if when I say it, it sounds wrong or people get the wrong impression? That’s gonna happen. It’s a cycle. You speak, it becomes real, you take responsibility for it, you then rethink it. This is about how to get better not how to avoid people thinking you’re weird or sad.

It changes the course of discussion in your head. You now have new thoughts, still dark or upsetting, but you can then try to say them again to erase the previous mistake. Good. Now there’s something new out there to take responsibility for, have responded to, and to rethink. Again the conversation in your head moves forward with the fresh indignation on their face at your minds inner thoughts. More to take in, more to change, more to measure. This creates a habit of taking responsibility for your thoughts and in turn creates a surprising amount of comfort with the facts of your pain. They aren’t so bad anymore when you see the distance of how they first made you think to how they do now. More distance, more comfort. You’re learning, which is also healing.

You can’t change what happened to you, but you can change how it affects you. With further introspection come the silver linings. You couldn’t see them before when you were only mulling the same dark thoughts over and over. Get distance from the darkness through expression.