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Addiction cover-up.

It all starts with the pain.

There is a sentence that really got me thinking at the time I read it and I often come back to it. “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. To me, it means that pain is an inseparable part of life, however, suffering is something we create and enhance by our way of thinking. Time after time we experience so-called “difficult emotions” that we are unable to cope with finding them overwhelmingly unbearable. The first thing we need to do is to adopt a degree of awareness as often it is difficult to think clearly when we are buried in the thoughts of the worst-case scenario. The ability to stop and recognise that something is not quite right when experiencing really strong difficult emotions can open our eyes to the true nature of what we are experiencing. A few simple questions can start a change in perspective;

Is what I feel at the moment really caused by what I think it is? 

What are my thoughts about it? 

Is it proportional to the experience I am going through? 

What did (the situation that happened) really mean to me?

When things are getting out of control.

It can be really hard, at times, to stop, examine and reflect as we learn how to avoid this scary monster. We tend to distract ourselves rather than face the problem, our fears and anxiety. In an attempt to ‘get on with life’ we numb ourselves to the true pain and effects the problem is presenting us with. We are not all the same and there are no strict timelines to our own healing but awareness is certainly a tool we can adopt to speeding that process along. Looking closer into why the difficult emotions that are let’s face it, an inevitable part of our life, can sometimes feel absolutely hopeless. 

The difficulty begins when we are “so good” at not treating the issue that lies beneath that it becomes a habit itself and adding salt to the wound we adopt very efficient ways of doing so which can lead to addictions of various kinds. We rarely, if ever, hear any stories about people who could not cope and therefore took up crocheting for hours daily, or perhaps fishing and disappearing for days on end indulging in their new hobby. Since those difficult emotions are so strong, the habit, the distraction we tend to go for must be equally as strong, if not more powerful. This is why the abuse of substances is so common and includes food, alcohol, drugs both illegal and prescription. Since it affects both our body and mind, it becomes a really efficient method in keeping the underlining problem at bay. Unfortunately, at the same time it’s wreaking havoc with our health, relationships, work and many more areas of our life. And these are the stories we often hear about.

Why is the scary monster so scary?

Let’s look into why we can get so overwhelmed by our emotions and why we would prefer enduring long-term suffering instead of just facing the pain and ultimately, healing? Why do we prolong the suffering which is certainly not the easiest to bear rather than the shorter, sharper but more effective method of solving the issue and the pain that goes with it? As someone who is deeply fascinated by how our beliefs affect our behaviour, I must say that, oftentimes the monster is as scary as it is because at some point in our lives it was actually, terrifying. It’s like being a child who doesn’t want to go to bed for fear of the creature lurking in the darkness of the room. The day comes when we grow up and the darkness does not affect us in that way anymore, we do not react to it in the same way as we used to. Sometimes we even feel so lonely that we would gladly invite that creature to join us for a cup of tea, just to have some company. When experiencing the difficult emotions, when finding yourself in the midst of unbearable suffering, it’s necessary to check in with that monster and to realise that even if the monster hasn’t changed, we have changed and we are absolutely equipped to deal with it. Let’s look him in the eye and invite him for a drink or if that’s your vice, a cup of cocoa 😊

We are adults now and not that scared, helpless child so we can do it, you can do it!

It’s never too late.

As Marisa Peer, the founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy says, what you put in is much more important than what you take out. Instead of fixating on fixing the symptom of the problem, we should have a closer look at what we lack in our lives that creates this need to distract, numb ourselves and forces us to fill the void with things that don’t serve us. If we, day by day, keep deciding that we want to make better choices and befriend the monster rather than the repetitively harmful avoidance we are accustomed to, we might find ourselves in a better, calmer reality where the painful emotions still happen but we are able to cope with them and feel great about it. The time is now. 

Want to learn more?

Thank you for taking the time to read my article – if you would like to know more about me, Knot Undone Therapy or RTT you can click here or book your free Discovery Call here. Please feel free to leave your comments below.

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