Are You Attached to Pain and Suffering?

pain suffering

Sitting here on a cloudy Sunday afternoon, I consider my life and why the black dog of depression is visiting me once more. I think most of us who suffer from depression feel, ‘Why is this visiting me again, can I not have a break from this endless pain?’ But what if I told you this is exactly what you need?

I’ve spoken before about being addicted to the darkness, but as I spiral inwards, I find myself revisiting a new place in this depression cycle of mine. I’ve spent 5 months in the spiritual void since I closed the mental health station Peace Within Radio and it’s been a hard 5 months.

Not knowing who I am or what I am to do now, has really taken its toll on me and feeling the familiar heaviness in my chest and the dark cloud surrounding me.  I found myself asking, ‘Why won’t this ever stop? Why do I have to feel depressed so often in my life?’

I knew intellectually that I may have an addiction to depression, to this uncomfortable comfort zone, but I did not realise how deep this went until I started to consider how a fear of loss was controlling what good came into my life. That I was protecting myself on many levels from further pain, but in doing so strengthening and internalising the pain further on a daily basis, but more was coming that I did not know about.

When Nothing Ever Works BUT it does…

After doing a few EFT tapping videos today, one on depression, another on fear of never getting better, I then came across a video called ‘Nothing Ever Works For Me’ and I tapped on the statements and believing them wholeheartedly, because like many who have experienced depression I really believed the thoughts that nothing ever works for me, that no matter what I try it does not work.

However, Brad Yates the tapping teacher then said something surprising, that things do work for me, but that my programming in a way was that I was too afraid of change and what the consequences could be, that I made sure that nothing would work for me, so in a way it was working for me, because I needed it not to work to keep me safe.

I think most of us know about the fear of change, but perhaps few of us investigate where our motivations come from. Why we may go from therapist to therapist, workshop or seminar, read a million books…and say internally ‘nothing works for me’ but do not realise that everything is working for us, because what we really want is for things to remain the same, even if they are painful.

The unknown, the uncertainty of the life choices we could make instead are too scary, so everything is working, in accordance with our often unconscious desires.

When It ‘Appears’ to Not Work

old way new way change

For me I realise now that all the courses, workshops, therapy sessions, holistic treatments were only able to help me on a shallow level until I was prepared to allow them to work.

As a channel for Reiki healing, I know this only too well, but I missed seeing this for myself. We only heal when we are ready to heal. If we have something inside of us that gets something from not feeling better, we will continue on the same old route.

It is called the secondary benefits of our pain cycle.

Examples are:

  • You may not allow yourself to enjoy a satisfying relationship because a part of you feels that it is not safe to open yourself to potential pain or loss, but by doing so also not opening yourself to love or intimacy.
  • You may prevent personal growth and transformation and keep yourself in poverty both physically and emotionally so that loved ones keep caring for you and spending time with you, because you fear that if you are well, they will leave you or die and your fear of loneliness is greater than your desire for wellness.
  • You may identify deeply with depression, illness, failure, that change is so scary that you cannot let this identity go.
  • You may fear you are only lovable when you are suffering.
  • You may fear prosperity and financial freedom because the people you relate to or your friends may not view you in the same light; they may relate to you more because of your pain or poverty and may leave you if you are more prosperous.

Controlling Others

While shuffling some oracle cards I have, a transformation deck, the card that came out was on control and relationships. It was about how I could be trying to dull someone else’s shine to keep myself safe.

I realised in my own life that the fear of releasing my best friend from the role of emotional and physical support scares me, that the fear of him leaving, be it through choice or death, could be a result of me becoming emotionally and physically independent and being able to care for myself.

So, I had become so deeply dependent on suffering and for things not to work, because I feared loss so deeply and because the alternative was just too scary.

I had not considered that he was my friend for more than just this role. And it also led me to realise that I don’t trust life. I don’t trust change. I didn’t trust my ability to cope with change, even though I have experienced a lot of change in my past and I coped with it.

When the radio station ended, it joined the pile of projects I had passionately and enthusiastically begun and finally followed through on, to not work out. So instead of allowing inspiration for an idea that could work, I chose to create something that couldn’t work, because if it worked, it could have meant, as I said above, emotional and physical independence. I would have received money to manage the project and the satisfaction of doing something so worthwhile, but this is not how it turned out.

What this meant was I was back into resistance, my comfort zone of suffering once again. I needed support once again, because any sense of things working and succeeding would change to not working to keep me safe.

On Being Attached to Suffering

How do we go about changing this attachment to suffering?

Well I am just at the starting blocks of my own internal change, so I would say the first step is being honest with yourself. Discovering if you are more afraid of happiness and what you want because the secondary benefits of suffering far outweigh the positives of thriving in life.

This is not an easy question and often we will find ways to get around it. We may not want change so deeply that the question doesn’t even reach us. And this is okay. It’s okay if you are not ready, but at least admit you are not ready.

  • Is love and true intimacy scarier than the pain and comfort of aloneness?
  • Is having financial freedom scarier than being supported by others?
  • Is health scarier than the love and attention you receive from sickness?

I will continue writing as my own understandings come from this. I wish you well if you are scared.

Good luck!

Support Kelly in her writing via Paypal below

Latest Posts

Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

Find me on: Web | Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Rachel
    December 2, 2019 / 11:01 pm

    Hi Kelly love your article and don’t agree at all. I think it’s the EFT and healing are doing this to you, I too was caught in that trap for ten years. Check out instead Nicola Bird on A Little Peace Of Mind. I clutched at it as if falling off a cliff edge and it was the only bit of straw I could reach. I was wrong. I was not on a cliff edge and she is not presenting straw.0

    • December 3, 2019 / 10:09 am

      Hi Rachel, while I respect your view and I am grateful you loved my article, my personal journey, is just that, personal to me. So while you may think you know me and know what I am doing or what is happening for me, I would say perhaps consider whether you really do. Thank you for the suggestion, but I am pretty clear about what is going on for me at this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.