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The Importance of Exploring Our Pain

When we’re working to recover, we place the majority of our emphasis on abstaining from our drug of choice and figuring out how we can prevent ourselves from relapsing. We practice coping skills to help us manage our self-destructive impulses. We look for ways to handle the temptation of our addictive urges and compulsions. We create relapse prevention plans. What we sometimes fail to realize, however, is that it’s just as important for us to figure out why we’ve been in so much pain all these years, why we’ve been turning to our drugs of choice, why we developed these particular destructive coping mechanisms. Part of our recovery is doing this deep, intensive inner healing work. We don’t always want to look at the messy, complicated, difficult issues in our lives. We don’t want to address the traumatic things we’ve experienced. We don’t want to look at why we’re addicts. We would rather skip that part, forget about the past altogether and avoid looking at our inner selves. The recovery journey we’re on, though, is inviting us to heal from the inside out. We have to heal the underlying issues of our illnesses, not just the symptoms. Our addictions are manifestations of our pain, so to heal them, we have to examine and explore our pain.

Our resistance to our pain can come from multiple different places. It can come from a fear of being judged. Sometimes we associate being in pain with being weak, inadequate, powerless and lacking control. It can come from fear of being totally overtaken by our mental and emotional health issues. We assume that if we examine our pain more closely, in more depth and in more detail, we won’t be able to recover from it. Sometimes we resist our pain because we’ve been conditioned to use silence, suppression, avoidance and denial to cope with our difficult thoughts and feelings. We learn over time, however, how important it is to be able to process and express our pain in order to move through it.

Understanding the reasons why we’re addicts is a hugely important part of our recovery work. When we have more clarity around the motivations behind our addictions, we get to know ourselves and our illnesses on a much deeper level, giving us important leverage in working to heal from them. We can’t heal from something we don’t understand, and we can’t heal ourselves when we don’t understand ourselves. Examining our pain is a crucial part of the recovery process that we can’t skip over.

The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever where you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.