The Story Of My Pain
There has been so much pain that has blown into my journey of existence. Looking back there was a time when I thought I was the only one. But as anyone who takes the climb out of self-pity you begin to realize that everyone gets a visit from sickness, death, and misery. When my brother and sister died I was 15 years old. A traumatic experience like this, at such a young age, will make any teenager grow up instantly. This experience, although I did not realize it right away, made me numb, cold, and bitter towards the world. Life can become so heavy when you walk around with a chip on your shoulder acting like the universe owes you something for the cards you have been dealt. It probably took a little over ten years for me to even observe the pain and agony that came from dealing with such a dark situation. People have often asked me how to get over things of such nature. As I have thought about an answer to this question over the years there is honestly only two things I have been able to conclude. One, weep and do not forget to cry! And two, learn from it.
The day I realized the benefit of crying I was, believe it or not, laughing. My good friend Cory and I were hanging out one evening and we somehow ended up falling into a fit of laughter over a joke he told. You know, it's that kind of laughter you want to stop due to the fact that you have snot running down your nose, your gut and cheeks hurt, and you can barely breathe. I remember, after it was over, this feeling of weightlessness. There was this feeling of relief as if an angel swept down and carried all of my anxiety and worry completely off of my soul. And then that's when it hit me. I realized that is the same exact feeling you get when you weep. When you weep you get the snot running, the cheeks and gut hurting, and there are even those times of having trouble breathing. But if you pay attention you also get that same relief at the end. You get that feeling like someone just helped you carry the heavy load and took it off of your shoulders. Yes, the situation when you are crying is completely different from that when you are laughing, but the end result is the same. You just end up feeling better and I am not totally sure why that is. Maybe it’s just because you have allowed yourself to be completely vulnerable and opened to the pain. Maybe it’s because you chose to look at and face the problem in your life head on. When you consciously decide to stop ignoring the “thing” that is causing you stress, anxiety, and suffering; when you consciously decide to open your eyes and name everything that has hurt you and caused you harm, that courage, bravery, and strength gives you confidence and peace. It is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the beginning stages of true and honest healing. And in return for doing this it will give you the capability to obtain step two.
Not ignoring and naming the obstacle that is in your way allows you to be able to open the door of learning. In my blog “My Paradoxical Addiction” I really touch base on how we need to develop the ability to teach ourselves something in the midst of struggle. By doing so it gives our pain meaning. So I will touch on it a little more here. The second and final part to dealing with tragedy is: As you are on the ground weeping. As you lay in the dirt wondering "why did this happen?" you have to, to the best of your ability, pick your head up and learn something. Every situation is an opportunity for a chance to expand your individual self-awareness and grow as a human being. When we stay alert and stay out of the "poor me" mentality, we can see ways and things that will bring about positive change. In doing so we end up giving our suffering meaning. That's what we all want as a people, meaning. If we are able to give our pain meaning then all of a sudden you find that the crappy times start to lose the sting that they originally brought upon us. Again, I touch on this topic in depth in a past blog I wrote. You can check it out by clicking here.
These two steps will never rid us of pain. What they will do is provide us with the ability to have joy, love, and happiness amongst the pain. I know these two steps can and will help anyone who can mustard up the courage to search and face their own pain. I believe the ignoring of our terrible situations is one of the biggest reasons for why the relapse rate is out of control in the addiction world. I have always used the analogy that drugs are like a dam and our emotions, feelings, mistakes, and traumas are the water. When we stop using drugs, the dam goes away and then there’s years and years of the things we have been numbing pouring down on us. We have to face them. We have to look right at them, name it, and know that we can give it all meaning.