Pain causes us to do some stupid things. The greatest source of addiction is pain. We hurt so bad, we search so long for a cure, and when we don’t find one, we turn to anything that will relieve the pain. Once we taste relief we become dependent on that which gives us relief, and hence forth an addiction is born.
Relief is never intended to be the answer; it is intended only to relieve us of our pain until we discovered the answer: a healthy answer. How can we avoid addiction? How can we break the repetitive destructive behavior of self-soothing sabotage?
1. Catch it Early – Catch pain early enough before you need relief. Listen to your heart. Listen to your body. You know when something just doesn’t feel right. The moment you feel pain, a pain that you know could lead to trouble, ask for help. Ask a friend, ask your parents or family, ask Clergy or a counselor; ask for help while help is still an option.
2. Confront and Cancel – When pain begins to present you with self-soothing temptations, confront the temptation head on and cancel it out. Deny the heckler in your head access to your heart – your place of truth. Deny the lies that the endless pain presents as rational solutions. Keep telling the tempter and the temptation “NO! I REFUSE! ACCESS DENIED!”
3. Redirect & Replace – Immediately after confronting the temptation, redirect your thoughts. Call a friend, engage in other activity, or go work out at the gym. Diffuse the battle in your head by engaging in some other activity. Replace the negative temptation and image of self-soothing sabotage with positive images of yourself engaging in healthy behaviors. Think back to a time when you were victorious. Rehearse your victory over and over until the negative image of defeat leaves.
Are you dealing with pain? You are not alone. Everyone secretly deals with some level of pain and disappointment. Ask for help. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak; it means you love yourself enough to seek a solution.
Turn to help while there is still time. Push past the feelings of worthlessness or embarrassment that asking for help tries to feed you. Confront and conquer the heckler in your head. Take back the control pain has stolen from you so that you can move on.