Everyone has had pain in their life in some form. For some it’s been fleeting physical pain—maybe a broken bone or a black eye. Or maybe, like me, it’s an ongoing battle with mental anguish with, hopefully, the worst of it behind them.

There’s a verse in the Bible that says that all things work together for good for those who love God. I don’t know your stance on Him, just mine. But I can say that there are ways to take the bad that has happened to you and try to make it work for good.

 

#1 – HELPING OTHERS

When you’ve been through a tough situation and have emerged victorious, there are now tools in your arsenal to better help others who are going through the same thing. Find a good doctor? Don’t keep her to yourself! Have a medication that has helped you? Respecting boundaries, tell others what has helped you, when appropriate. And you might know just the right words to say when this hurting person is struggling most. This all should come back to you in positive ways. Some will be rewarded eternally, others will form goodwill with the person they’ve helped. Plus there’s a wonderful rush that comes from aiding someone in their time of need.

 

#2 – RESTOCKING THE POND

For creatives, we see ideas everywhere. Pain is no exception. I’ve used the emotional pain I’ve experienced to enrich characters and inform situations in my books and other writings. My characters have been more believable than they would have been otherwise, all because of what I’ve been through.

 

#3 – KNOWING YOURSELF

Having experienced pain, you learn your limits. You can become more self-aware. Did you learn from depression that certain websites trigger you? You know what to avoid and perhaps how to take care of yourself if you stumble across something negative. Developing strategies in this area of your life can carry over into others. For example: having OCD has caused me to form many systems that help me get by without too much anxiety on a day-to-day basis. This has stretched me creatively and has opened up my brain for creating strategies for coping with word counts and deadlines. I have a planner now, one that I actually use. Before my diagnosis and work on my illness, I wrote nothing down. I’m growing as a person, see?

 

The point of this post is: nothing is wasted, even pain. Take what hurt you and turn it around.

Keep your nose in a book,
Beth

P.S. The Goblets Immortal comes out in thirteen days, which means you have twelve days left to pre-order. See my homepage for details.

 

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