General Question

zensky's avatar

If you were granted the chance to remove just one of your pains - would you choose a physical one or emotional pain?

Asked by zensky (13418points) January 11th, 2013

You have to pick just one, sadly, for this exercise.

As someone who is at the age where I have suffered both – I sometimes wonder which is worse; physical pain or emotional pain (baggage, trauma, regret, remorse, guilt, shame, etecetera.)

Let me end this with a toast to all those who actually read the details: May all your joys be true joys, and may all your pain be champagne.

Please note this is in General – write freely, please, but stay on topic.

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32 Answers

Blondesjon's avatar


Physical pain may linger but that’s a pain one can get used to.

gailcalled's avatar

I’d eliminate decades of back ache caused by scoliosis I developed as a teen-ager. It is a familiar friend by now but did clip my wings.

Shippy's avatar

Emotional, I think a lot of my physical pains emanate from emotional pain. I currently have heart pains, from sadness. Guilt makes you walk with a stoop, fear stops you breathing properly. I would do anything to remove emotional pain.

Toasts you back

burntbonez's avatar

Emotional. The pain of lost loves.

ETpro's avatar

My emotional pains are many. I’ve outlived a large number of loved ones now. But those heartaches are all a part of who I am. Removing any would leave a hole that would hurt the real me.

On the other hand, my inguinal hernia can leave right now if it will. The surgeon can’t get to me till March!

jonsblond's avatar

Physical. I feel better emotionally when I’m physically healthy.

bossob's avatar

The emotional pain that I’ve experienced I consider to be just a normal part of life.

As I’ve gotten older my physical pain tolerance has decreased significantly. The thought of having chronic pain, like I did for several years when I was younger, scares the crap outta me.

wundayatta's avatar

Depression is the worst pain I ever experienced. It made me want to die, it was so bad. If I could make sure I’d never feel that again, I’d be very happy.

tinyfaery's avatar

Even though I’m always depressed, I’d want to get rid of my foot and shin pain. It’s so hard to walk. It hurts.

Generally, I think physical pain is easier to overcome or get used to. But then again, emotional pain can be too.

Sorry. I sometimes have a hard time following directions.

RandomGirl's avatar

I think both sides of our perception are important as parts of our human-ness. Without emotional pain, we couldn’t feel compassion; without physical pain, we wouldn’t be inhibited by fear from doing dangerous things. Usually pain is a burden, but without it, either emotional or physical, we would lose a piece of our humanity. We would be one step closer to robots.

With that said, I have moments every day when I wish I didn’t have to experience physical or emotional pain. But those moments shape who we are.

ETpro's avatar

@RandomGirl There’s a world of difference, though, in thinking of eliminating all of either variety of pain and what the OP asked, eliminating one specific, severe chronic pain.

RandomGirl's avatar

@ETpro: <<Goes back and reads the question again>> “One of your pains – would you choose a physical one or emotional one”

I missed that little word. That makes it a different question all together! (Of course, grammatically, it doesn’t make sense the way I read it just by skipping that one word… But your brain does funny things late at night.)

Unbroken's avatar

Well emotional pain has been an issue.

But I feel as if it aided me. I have used my intangible pain to tangiably grow. It is indeed a beautiful thing and something I could toast to.

I recently was hospitalized and given pain medication hydromorphone to be exact. The first time I have taken pain medication in years including otc’s. I have a condition that makes pain medication dangerous and over all unhealthy for me.

I gave in and have been taking prescription the relief the energy the freedom of movement I have is beyond what I even knew I was in pain.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Emotional pain, specifically the pain of the poor relationship I have with my father.

CuriousLoner's avatar

I have a rather bummed right knee. It happened during high school and I always wonder if it will hinder me. Luckily the surgery went well. No real issues so far, but I can tell it has impacted my body, specially muscles compared to my left leg versus my right. I have left knee pains sometimes since it compensates – Not good…

Still fairly young and physically been able to things I want, after high school. I always said in back of my head if I become a old wrinkled man one day and can’t do the things I want to do. I think I’d rather be dead.

Emotional and mental aspect of things I feel I can always deal with and if it is in the past I’d be better off letting it go anyways. As hard as that may be.

Soubresaut's avatar

If this was any pain across our life—I’d be tempted to reach back and remove an extra bone chip in my foot that quietly made me stop running and dancing as a child, and eventually became so painful it made me effectively hobbled until a surgery to remove it. I would never have that feeling of recovery, of realizing I loved to move, but I would never have forgotten the love to begin with. I think, however, I’d be too scared to omit the chip. I have no idea how much it really affected me, or in what way. I’d be too scared it was ultimately a positive affliction. Perhaps, though, my hesitation is just the rosy blindness of hindsight.

Anyway, then I’d want to alleviate a specific emotional pain that I don’t really have a source for. It’s a guilt and an ache and a weight, it’s crippling me in insecurity and emotivelessness, and this granted chance would be, in theory, able to free me of it—something I’ve been unable to. I want to have, for my name to be, numerous nicknames like it use to be when I was a child. But any nickname sounds weird on me even to my ears. Too fun. Too personal. I’m tired of being so tense and doubtful and on guard. I want to smile and it just feel like a smile. I want to feel fit.

ETpro's avatar

@RandomGirl Brain—late at night? Mutually exclusive terms. :-)

augustlan's avatar

I’ve survived an awful lot of emotional pain. I sometimes wish it had never happened, but I honestly think it’s a huge part of the reason I am who I am today. Having moved past it, I think I’ll keep it.

Fibromyalgia pain, on the other hand, can take a flying leap. Life would be a lot better without chronic pain.

JLeslie's avatar

Physical, especially if the pain is removed because I will actually be cured.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar


I would rid myself of the emotional pain of being a closeted homosexual.

harple's avatar

Whilst my life has contained much more emotional pain than physical (I have been blessed that way), I am like many above who feel that it has shaped who I am today, and I wouldn’t want to change the person I am today. The physical pain due to me in about 13 weeks, however, I would gladly not experience! (Not enough to make me currently plan to choose an epidural or anything, and I don’t mean I want to avoid the entire experience, just the incredible pain bit!)

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Oooh that’s a tough one Zensky.

I’ve still got all the limbs I should have, and two of everything I’m supposed to have so I’d have to say emotional – seeing as it has it’s roots in mental well-being – and stress and anxiety in excess can lead to physical symptoms occurring. I get those. Regular heartburn, no matter the diet, and panic attacks and some severe difficulty getting to sleep most nights – whether that’s a result of working night shifts for eight years I don’t know but it’s likely! None of which are great fun and I’ve already been to the hospital more times in the last 1 year than I have ever been in 30 years!

Toast back.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I’d remove the pain in my ass I call my husband.

Kidding! :)

I’d definitely remove an emotional pain but, now that I think of it, I have yet to experience pain of any kind that I can pinpoint as most painful. I’m still young though, so I’m sure it’s coming.

hearkat's avatar

I have dealt with my emotional pains, so I choose physical: Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis have significantly impaired my ability to get around and do things that I need and want to do.

zensky's avatar

@lifeflame Thank you for being perfect. We lurve you.

Mariah's avatar

I am happy as hell! I feel confident in my ability to deal with and overcome what life throws at me. Now if I were able to eliminate some physical pain, that would mean life would be throwing significantly less at me. It’d benefit my mental health too. Win-win.

Berserker's avatar

No real physical pains for me to speak of, or nothing, so far, that I cannot handle. But I kinda wish that some of the sadness and anger I had as a teen would have been taken away, because I fear that a lot of that shaped who I am, and not all of it is good by far. (I still think about a lot of it so in this context it prolly has some merit)
I have a drinking problem under control, but maybe I would have never started drinking in the first place if some stuff never happened. I realize three years of drinking every day isn’t forty years of doing the same, but it still causes a lot of problems and changes your life significantly, and not for anything much better, let me tell you that.
This, under the assumption that whatever shaped me comes from years ago, which it might not. What am I, some kinda shrink? :p Drinking was the shittiest part of my life when I look at this, so whatever brought that on can go to hell lol.
Since I’m not entirely sure what did bring it on, maybe I’m damned to do it again. So if they say knowing is half the battle, I’d eradicate most of it one go if it was possible haha.

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dillin257's avatar

Mental pain, would have to be the first to go. It has a way of lingering and creeping around, jumping out of no where, to let you know yo really shouldn’t be having any fun. “IT” lies ,it likes to keep you in isolation, and loneliness. It takes everything a person has to fight ‘It down everyday.

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