There is no hiding from the pain. Sometimes, it’s the perfect attacker, hiding behind closed doors and sharp corners, pouncing on its prey at random intervals. There is no telling when the attack will come; there is no time to prepare. The pain follows wherever I go. It comes into the shower, guards the back door, rides the waves in music, even penetrates my dreams. Other times, it creeps up slowly, taking over the whole place, the whole body, the whole mind. It cuts right through the core like a razor, or a knife, or a fucking machete. It brings back the past that I long to leave behind. There is nowhere to go where it can’t enter. It can’t be escaped because it lives buried inside, with the world around only reflecting its existence. I have come to know the many faces of pain, the unbearable footprint of emptiness it often leaves behind. But I have also learned to welcome the pain as it makes me feel in times when the everything around seems dull. The pain makes sense of love. The pain shows that I am human. While my heart weeps, I get stronger. The pain has shown me what it’s like to be a warrior.