I kind-of hate brain freezes. I think hospitals should re-work their little pain charts. The “10” with the frowny face ought to have a guide of ‘kidney stone’ or ‘giving birth. Their ought to be an 11 with an extra-frowny face, with the words “brain freeze” under it.
(I have never personally experienced either a kidney stone or child birth. I hope you’ll forgive me a little hyperbole to make the point.)
The funny thing is, that if you could watch me in the summer time with my favorite frappacinno or ice-cold smoothie, it would probably be pretty funny, because I am not very good at avoiding them. Perhaps more accurately: I am not very motivated to avoid them.
Often times, I will get one, and the spike that is lodged between my temples has barely been removed before I am on to the next gulp. It’s not that I’ve forgotten. It’s not that I am unaware. I take that gulp well-informed that I have an excellent chance of re-experiencing the same brain freeze I have just gotten out of the grips of.
I don’t know if this is alien to you. Maybe I am alone in my foolishness. I’ve recently realized I am a pretty smart guy… except when I’m not. And maybe this is just one of those times I am not.
I’ve been reflecting on why I do this, recently. Here is what I came up with:
A) I know the pain is temporary.
B) I really like the pleasure of the drink.
C) The pain can’t hurt me– so far as I know, brain freeze is not like a concussion. I am pretty sure I am not accumulating long-term effects.
Just to be clear, I hate pain. I am open to the charge of being a wimp. Ordinarily, I do my best to avoid unpleasentness and suffering in all it’s varied forms.
In fact, it’s this realization about myself that got me thinking of it all in the first place.
I have spent a long time, working hard at minimizing the pain — physical and mental– I experience. My willingness to subject myself to brain freeze is very much an exception, not the rule. The thing is that despite the time, work and energy I have put into minimizing the pain I experience, I don’t think I have been very successful.
Recently, I had this realization:
It is all brain freeze.
It is all temporary. It is all necessary for pleasure to come, too. In the end, there are no eternal pains. Someday — though maybe not in this life– they will all fade away.
I don’t know about you, but I am ready to stop living from a damage-control mind set. This does not mean I need to be reckless or masochistic. But it means that pain is just pain, and sometimes things hurt.. But in the end, hurt is just hurt. And there is no way to escape it anyway.