Mindful explains that pain is actually made of three parts. First, pain involves physical sensations about pain. The human body has an incredible chemical-nervous response system that operates an astonishing speed. As soon as we, say, stub our toe, there is a flurry of signals sent from our toe to our brain and back again to let us know that -ouch- that hurts! Then, immediately, our brain blocks opioid receptors to start providing pain relief, even if we don’t feel it, and then blood rushes to the area to start healing and protecting the injury. The physical pain that we experience is actually an advanced form of protection and care to warn us of potential harm. Second, there is emotional pain. Often, emotional pain can feel like physical pain and that is how we describe it. Our hearts break. We feel our stomachs sink. The emotional pain we experience is strong. Pain is something the brain struggles to cope with. For example, the side effects of trauma, like post traumatic stress disorder, is the way the brain creates a block between an overwhelming amount of pain and having to cope with all of that pain. Emotional pain can be abandonment, neglect, rejection, fear, loneliness, sadness, anger, resentment, and more. Most often, however, the core of all emotional pain, is fear. We fear that our pain says something about who we are, the meaning of our lives, and that it dictates something for our future. Which leads to the third type of pain. Lastly, we experience pain through meaning. When we stub our toe it doesn’t mean anything more than stubbing our toe. If we apply a story to our toe-stubbing, it can suddenly mean much more than it is supposed to. We can come up with all kinds of elaborations to make some kind of meaning out of a stubbed toe: we’re so stupid, we never watch where we go, this is what we get for doing that awful thing the other day, we can’t even walk like normal people. The translation is usually something like: I’m deficient, I’m wrong, I’m worthless. These stories are painful and the more we tell them to ourselves, the more we believe them, inspiring us to apply our stories to everything. We really aren’t worthless because we stubbed our toe. A lifetime of telling ourselves that story applies such a tense and negative story to an otherwise innocent act. The more we can understand our pain the more we can acknowledge which kind of pain we are experiencing and begin to identify the story we are applying. Once we become aware of our story, we are empowered to change it. Miraculously, the pain starts to subside.
Are you ready to change your story of addiction to drugs and alcohol? At Oceanfront Recovery we empower you to take hold of your life by supporting your vision of a life free from the pain of addiction. We’re here to help you make that change. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs: (949) 207-9899