Learning to be With Your Pain Instead of Escaping It

By Jennifer McDougall

Pain is the most common reason behind addiction. It comes in many forms; physical, mental, and emotional pain. It stems from the brain and flows into your central nervous system. An extreme amount of pain and discomfort can potentially send you right over the edge, but if you listen closely, it can also be the most helpful thing that can happen for you. The majority of people who seek medical attention or temporarily relief through the use of drugs and alcohol do so, because they are experiencing some sort of pain. It is in fact, a survival mechanism to help protect your body. Those who are born without the ability to feel things due to issues within the central nervous system typically do not live long healthy lives. We must understand the importance of being able to feel everything our bodies are trying to communicate to us. When people use drugs and alcohol to numb their pain, their perceptions towards situations are altered, along with their consciousness and they increase the risk of making really lousy decisions.

Whether it’s from abuse (of any kind), trauma, fear, anxiety, or physical ailments; we have all felt pain one way or another. Throughout this journey in life, we must all learn to adjust to the changes that come and go. One thing that is guaranteed is change itself. Change is inevitable. What is causing your pain and sorrow one day could be gone the next.  By trying to escape pain there is an immense potential of making matters extremely worse for ourselves and those we love. It’s important to be fully conscious and aware of our surroundings so that we can make good decisions and know when something is not right. Because of perhaps the horrible things that have happened in your life your body reminds you when something feels off or dangerous. When our heart breaks for the first time we learn to be more cautious in future relationships. When we cut our finger slicing veggies, or burn our hand on a hot pan, we learn to be more careful in the kitchen. When we have our first car accident we learn to be more aware of others on the road and pay close attention to what’s going on around us at all times. Pain teaches us lessons in life and that’s something we shouldn’t ignore.

There are times in your life when you may be stressed, overwhelmed, broken, hurt beyond belief, and sad over a loss. Pain is a natural feeling that is meant to be felt. To be with your pain means to accept what is happening in your life and throughout your body. We have a natural right to feel everything that this sometimes cruel and unfair world throws at us. The best part about all of it is that you have a choice. You can either choose to accept what is, let go of what is not (anymore), and cope with an attitude of optimism that circumstances will improve.

Your mind and body must heal from the pain you have experienced over time. This can be done by using therapy methods such as the ones used at Passages Addiction Treatment Centers. For anyone who is or has suffered with emotional, mental, or physical pain, knows the discomfort that can be debilitating. When you experience pain there is an instant shock-wave like feeling that erupts and at times, it feels so uncontrollable. When this happens, you must first practice deep breathing and try to remain calm.

Reaching for the bottle or a substance to get high isn’t the solution. When you find yourself in a situation where you are sinking deep with a weight of pain; call a friend, go for a quiet walk, have a cup of tea, write in a private journal, or turn up your favorite song and sing it out loud. Life is better when you can learn to manage your pain instead of escaping it. Other means of pain relieve can also be helpful such as acupuncture, massage, meditation, and stretching exercises. A healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and 7-8 hours of nightly rest will also help.



Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Photo by: Jennifer McDougall

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