Pain comes from the outside, ultimately, right. Those lions hiding in the grass, they bite me, and I feel pain. That’s the source. Objective pain is pretty awful, it’s a signal of life threatening injuries and my whole biology had evolved to avoid it as a top priority, so I don’t die. As part of that strategy to avoid pain, which is a very successful life preservation metric, my brain has learned to recognize situations that could lead to pain, from past, borrowed, and future anticipated experiences, and produces its own kind of simulated pain to get me to pay attention and get out of that situation to avoid actual pain that could kill me. This simulated pain needs to be pretty accurate to be convincing, or I would just ignore it. So. Pain comes from the inside, too.

The pain staging area has two chutes feeding to it then. The first chute leads in from the outside, where pain packages from the objective world drop in. A lion bites me; a box of pain tumbles down the chute. The second chute connects to my brain, where it manufactures batches of simulated pain that nevertheless feel real. Most of the time, I’m not getting bitten by lions, I’m just sitting on my butt watching Twitch, so that outside chute rarely has anything drop through. It has cobwebs.

The fucking second chute runs 24/7 non-stop spewing down Amazon boxes full of fake pain that break open all over the floor.

I was thinking about this, in bed in the morning, when I’ve woken up but haven’t gotten up. I hate this time. My worst thoughts happen. It didn’t use to be this way. Mornings were mostly neutral, before, with daydreams and the occasional flight of boundless plans. Now I get out of bed in relief, in disgust.

I’ll try to focus only on real pain, and ignore forecasted pain. The big presentations next week, the first dates, the dance recitals, I’ll try, try so hard, to stop pre-living the worst case scenario my brain simulates–in its attempt to be helpful–ignore the perceived danger alarms, and reserve feeling for when I’m actually dying. If I get eaten by lions because of this, then oh well I guess, egg on my face, oopsies.