Life imparts its most profound lessons exclusively through personal experience, revealing truths that words alone cannot convey.
Some things can only be understood through experience. No matter how hard one tries, certain things cannot be understood by merely hearing or seeing things. Experience is the greatest teacher, offering insights and wisdom that words alone can never convey. u/Slow_Inflation8701 asked individuals in the community, "What's something that people don't really understand until they've been through it themselves? Here are 10 of the most thought-provoking answers that people had to offer about such experiences.
Nerve pain. u/LaughingIsAwesome. My experience was and is so minor compared to what could be. I had nerve damage that lasted for about a year before it began to heal - it’s mostly okay now, but I still don’t trust that limb. It looks fine, so you always feel like everyone thinks you’re faking. It’s inconsistent, so sometimes it feels fine, and then you start to wonder if you’re faking - then something little happens and it’s hot lightning bolts again. That something could be lifting a few pounds the wrong way. Or you could feel fine one day and lift something heavy without thinking and be fine. Or it might just be horrible pain for literally no reason. You look the same regardless. It’s maddening and really horrible. Take care of your bodies, people. u/paprikashi
Chronic debilitating illness and disability. How quickly life can change permanently without you doing anything wrong. u/melkesjokolade89. The grief you have to go through to try and let go of the person you were and the person you thought you would be. This has been the worst for me. I see old pictures of me and think, “Lucky girl. She had no clue what was in store for her.” I’m not that person anymore. And it’s hard to say goodbye to her. u/justanobodygirl
Cancer. What it really means to go through cancer treatment. u/Japan_Superfan. People think that because their great aunt had cancer and they read her posts on Facebook they know what you're going through. They do not. I've been a caregiver and a patient and even the caregiver doesn't understand. You're facing an existential threat. It's like having a gun pointed at your head every minute of every day. Fight or flight, 24x7x365. It's not just about being tired or nauseous, it's about not knowing if you're going to live and everyone around you is either telling you to stay positive (because we all know positive people don't die and if you fight hard enough cancer can't win) or wanting you to reassure them. u/knocking_wood
Having a disability. u/Mrwoofwoof. Aye. I have chronic nausea as part of my disability and I find when "regular" people catch the stomach bug they always message me saying "How do you manage to live like this every day, I feel so bad for you!" and then as soon as they're better, they forget and ask me why I'm not eating. It's like their brain blocks out the experience. u/dibblah
Mental illness. u/RareAd3435. Especially to those who label themselves and wear ADHD as a badge of honor. I absolutely hate living with it. I hate people's impression of me because of it. I hate how it bothers people behind me anytime I have to sit down for extended periods of time. I hate the guy who tapped me on the shoulder and said “You’re ruining my movie experience.” Having a hyperactivity disorder is not something to diminish and it’s been all the rage to pretend to have on social media. u/Darum62
Losing a parent at a young age. You’re not sad because you miss them. You’re sad because you were robbed of ever knowing them. u/Schmaron. I lost my mom at 16 and it’s been 33 years. I just started seeing a new therapist and when I was describing my childhood, I started crying and talking about my mom. She was sick for a long time and I don’t really have strong memories of what our relationship was like. There’s just a mom-shaped hole in my life. u/kyliepelirroja
Not having enough money due to unforeseen circumstances. Not every poor person is poor because of their own decisions. Finances are like traffic, you can do everything right on the road, and have your life completely flipped by some other a***** driver. u/WhereTheMoneyAtBoy. My Dad's family had money until his brother was diagnosed with a rare heart disease that needed surgery. They sold everything to pay for it. It hit them so hard that my Dad didn't go to high school so he could work for food. I grew up dirt poor because my Dad didn't have an education and struggled with everything. I finally clawed my way out of poverty. One hit took three generations to correct. u/Sekmet19
Car crashes. u/NameTheEpithet. So many people say, "That had to have been really scary," when I've described a car fire that I was in back in 2018 and a car accident that I was in a year ago (I do not have good luck with cars, apparently), but no one realizes that it all transpires so quickly that you don't have time to be scared. It just happens all of a sudden, and you just react accordingly. The gravity of it all doesn't sink in until it's all over. Television and movies like to drag it out for maximum drama, but in real life, it all occurs in an instant, and you don't realize what you just went through until it's over and you're standing in a place of safety. u/SchuminWeb
Experiencing the death of someone you love. u/hollyjazzy. This is 100%. You see people break down due to a loved one's death in movies and TV all the time and you empathize, but you truly don't understand it until you have been through it. I thought I understood it before I went through it. I definitely did not. It has been a few years, but when it happens in a movie or a show I am watching I still break down and cry in a way I never did before. u/xper0072
Living with PTSD. u/SpykeATA. PTSD truly damages the mind. Scans of a brain with PTSD compared to a normal brain are fascinating and chilling tbh. I have c-ptsd and it’s hard to explain to people what it’s like living with this constant feeling that something isn’t right, that something is going to go wrong at any second, that I’ll be abandoned or somehow wind up back in a bad place. The anxiety and depression are all-consuming at times, nightmares and flashbacks are just part of life. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. u/Jessiefrance89