Working through an injury, playing while hurt, that’s nothing new.
We’ve learned that long-term damage can be caused to bodies, careers, and lives because people ignored, diminished, or hid their pain because they didn’t want anyone to know, or if they knew, that the extent of the injury was never revealed. Drug abuse is common, and side-effects of therapies pummel lives and families too.
We revere and reward toughness – though damage to bodies and lives sometimes borders on the cruel and criminal. Not just in pro sports and Olympic pursuits. Rehabbing, pain-killers, ice-baths, surgery, and physiotherapy – common issues for pro-athletes. And for amateurs too. We see playing through pain as a sign of grit, determination, teamwork, and survival.
We similar dynamics when people have a disease diagnosis they’ve hidden from view. These are things we wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Now, shift your thinking, please, to emotional injuries – from beginning to end, yes, from birth till now, have you had any inflicted upon you?
Physical and emotional abuse isn’t a taboo subject, but it’s talked about too little. People don’t wear those scars on their sleeves, whether the cause of the pain has abated or not.
What about those lingering injuries?
No physical bruises on the mind, no broken bones in the psyche, no torn ligaments in the personality – we can smile and pretend it ain’t so. Or we can mask it, hide it from view, with something else – a behavior, or addiction to drugs or alcohol, food, retail-therapy, and reckless actions. The havoc on lives, families, and everyone we connect can be far more insidiously hidden and damaging than any old football injury.
The next person we meet, or many we already know, are playing hurt – they’ve been doing that a long time; they’ve numbed their pain or buried it deep, injured, sometimes severely. Not beyond repair, but too often suffering in silence.