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Suffering is OPTIONAL!

All experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.—The Declaration of Independence

The founding fathers of the United States of America spelled it out clearly: human beings will suffer almost anything before they are willing to change. This holds true even if we are aware that we are suffering and realize there’s a solution to our suffering. Most people will try to ignore their problems, or change their focus to something else, rather than take the appropriate action to change. Addicts take this immovable unchanging mindset to the extreme.  It is only when the pain and suffering are so overwhelming and no longer tolerable that action is finally taken. Like it or not, pain is the best friend of change. This is why it is so important to lower your threshold for pain.

 Our brain is designed to help us avoid pain and search out pleasure. A problem arises when we become aware that we are living below your capabilities, and this awareness becomes painful. You might ask: if people are not happy with their life, and it’s painful, why don’t they take action to change? The answer is they do take action. They self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, sex, food, and many other distractions. These are just enough to keep the pain sufferable, as was noted in the Declaration of Independence. When self-medicating no longer works, we seek other options.  Why wait to hit the bottom when you can step off the elevator on any floor you choose?  For example, how does someone wind up in a rehab program or some twelve-step meeting? It’s not because life is wonderful and one big party. On the contrary, for most people the party was over a long time ago. They show up because they are in massive pain and out of ideas. They are in emotional and spiritual pain and are usually suffering financially and physically as well. It’s said that to be willing to take the steps these programs require, most people must have “hit bottom.” The interesting thing is that everyone has to decide for themselves how low they are willing to go.

 Some people’s bottom is actually very high. Maybe they don’t like being out of control of their faculties; or perhaps they had a few minor mishaps that they considered embarrassing. Others have run the gamut from divorce and DWI to jails and mental institutions before they decide that they have had enough. The one thing these two groups have in common, though, is that they both decided they had experienced enough pain. Ultimately, it’s pain that caused them to take certain actions to change. If they stay in recovery long enough, life gets better and more pleasurable. 

Pain is the common denominator among all people who enter recovery. The BIG LIE is we call destroying our lives getting high or partying rather than what it really is; self- destruction on a grand scale.  What’s interesting is that we all decide what we consider uncomfortable or painful versus pleasurable.  We also decide how much suffering and unpleasantness we are willing to endure before changing our unworkable habits. A habit is just a behavior pattern that is acquired through repetition. Many habits become automatic and nearly involuntary. If you have ever tried to quit smoking, drinking, or overeating, you know what I mean.

When I was in the deepest depths of my addiction, I was on automatic pilot. I didn’t even think about addiction; I just acted. I realize that my DNA, my parents, and many other reasons could be used as justification for why I became addicted, but let’s take a moment to examine the facts .I, alone, picked up a cigarette and put it in my mouth. No one but me drank beer with my friends before, during, and after school. And let’s not forget, no one but me purchased and ingested drugs. I took those actions. I repeated those actions. I developed those habits. By taking certain actions repeatedly, and holding true to certain thoughts on how to deal with life’s ups and downs, I developed habits that stayed with me long after they became uncomfortable. What started as a pleasurable escape became uncomfortable and grew into pain. When the pain was too great, I looked at the alternatives. Pain is the best friend of change.

In the doctors opinion found in the AA big Book Dr. Silkworth discusses the phenomenon of “craving” in observations like “the sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time, separate the true from the false. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can experience that sense of ease and comfort which comes at once from taking a few drinks. Being a recovering addict/alcoholic I understand this description completely.  I wanted ease and comfort; to feel comfortable in my own skin. What began as a pleasurable escape became uncomfortable and grew into pain. I was stuck repeating the nightmare of looking for the right thing in all the wrong places.  Are you or someone you know on the rehab-relapse merry-go round; doing more of what’s “NOT WORKING.”  Maybe you’ve been able to stay sober for a period of time but not been able to find your life’s purpose, a rewarding career or fulfilling relationship then I suggest reading the best selling book Full Recovery, Creating A Personal Action Plan For Life Beyond Sobriety available at Amazon, B+N, Nook and Kindle. If you’re seeking a comprehensive and holistic treatment facility that REALLY CARES  consider the Full Recovery Wellness Center.  Relapse is not an option! If you or a loved one is suffering through the pain of active addiction Full Recovery Wellness Center knows pleasurable solution. Visit and step off the elevator today. No need to hit the basement.

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