Addicted to Pain

We could think of our physical bodies as human-shaped, drug-processing plants. We are always buzzing on some substance or other. These powerful substances are known as hormones and our flesh is constantly flooded with them.

The endocrine system is our dealer on speed-dial, and the dangerous stimulants are our favourites. Nothing says ''I am truly alive'' quite like the cold-fire slam of adrenaline coursing through our veins. Strung out on sadness, hit after surging hit, we finally feel something, and this is what we love.

We might believe we hate it - the anger, the fear, the eternal misery - but we are in fact biologically addicted to their spell hitting the soft spot in our brains. We have an identity when we are on the hard drugs, a life that apparently means something, because we have an ocean of gritty hormones to swim through every day. Navigating ''the fear'' is part of what makes us feel alive when we are addicted.

The bad-boy drugs, like epinephrine, cortisol and adrenaline, grab us (hurl us against the wall, and scream in our face ''Do you feel it now?'') much more effectively than the softer sedatives like dopamine, serotonin and the endorphins.

One shot of adrenaline responds instantaneously to our familiar thought and in that very moment electrifies us to the finger tips. Though we claim to loathe this, we are buzzing again, our hunger for something - anything - is satisfied.  

A soft wave of oxytocin after love, or a quick hit of serontonin from walking by the ocean, just does not shake us to the very roots in the same way.

This is the way we are hard-wired. Ancestrally speaking. We are meant to be junkies. Our neural pathways are shaped by our hormones - they are like acidic groove-weaving chemicals forging through the web of our brains. Like drill sergeants they train our glands, such as the amygdala, in a bio-feedback loop that ensures we will always go back with our hands out for more of the bad stuff. Why? Because we had to learn how to run fast and instantly from danger at one time in our history. Because love and friendship could take time, but survival matters were imperative in this moment. Our bodies had to be able to handle regular use of hard drugs and thrive on them.

And so we came to love them. To find meaning in the ache of a broken heart and an identity in a dark, complex mind.

For me. personally, the narcotic spell of terror and depression consumed years. Though the early shots were forced into my body against my will, eventually it became a enslavement where, if I was truthful, I felt more engaged, more alive, more purposeful once I was stupefied by fear. When I came off adrenaline, the sharp colours lost their edge for a while, like when the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers decided not to get stoned anymore. Slowly they changed from being cartoons into being real live people. Life seemed boring. The Furry Brothers took more drugs to remedy the dilemma, but if they had stayed sober, with the passing of time, they might have discovered that ''out here, we is stoned immaculate.''

Weaning off the hard drugs is possible. It works the same as weaning off anything else. Recognition of the craving, distraction, knowing we are attached to the heroin-buzz and asking ourselves why, and so on. It boils down to desiring the soft glow of a manageable buzz more deeply than the dangerous, glorious, purposeful high of pain.

Center yourself in your Heart-Space. Do an emotion scan. Feel the pain as it comes up. Do not shy away, run away, or dampen it. Feel it fully. You have given the pain a means of escape. It's gone. The more you can do this, the more you will truly emerge.:

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  • People who think they can control their negative emotions and manifest them when they want to, simply deceive themselves. Negative emotions depend on identification; if identification is destroyed in some particular case, they disappear. The strangest and most fantastic fact about negative emotions is that people actually worship them. I think that, for an ordinary mechanical man, the most difficult thing to realise is that his own and other people's negative emotions, have no value whatever and do not contain anything noble, anything beautiful or anything strong. In reality negative emotions contain nothing but weakness and very often the beginning of hysteria, insanity or crime. The only good thing about them is that, being quite useless and artificially created by imagination and identification, they can be destroyed without any loss. And this is the only chance of escape that man has.

    P.D. Ouspensky

  • I did manage a year offa pain meds but recently had to go back on because of arthritis, residual pains from operations, etc. This time I won't complain and just take whats good for me!

  • "You don't have to feel 'okay' all the time. You don't have to be free from all resistance all the time. You are bigger than that, unlimited in fact. There is no 'all the time' for you. You are the space for the okay and the not-okay, the acceptance and the resistance. You don't need any fixed and unchangeable image of yourself. You don't need to be the enlightened guru or the spiritual warrior. You don't need to be the peaceful one, the awakened one, the strong one, the highly evolved one, the one immune to suffering. All are false limitations on your limitless nature. Simply be what you are, not 'this' one or 'that' one, but The One, the space for all of it." -Jeff Foster

    Some pain is necessary in order to grow. But not the pain that is caused by our false notions of who we are and should be to ourselves and others. That is just unnecessary pain ,the effect of ego.

    • “Attachment guarantees that you will wake up every morning with a mission: to prove you are who you think you are—today. But it’s a total energy drain. you’re so busy performing a role that you miss out on the freedom to improvise, to be real rather than rehearsed. - Gabrielle Roth, Connections: The Threads of Intuitive Wisdom

  • Well I listen to your input and have put up a new glorious photo of the old Gnuster standing outside for a nice

  • feel them or flee them @ Noct

    Sounds like fight, fright or flight. It's what our nervous systems are wired to do, like you say. Interesting quote about the honesty. It's a big topic to contemplate and work with in itself. It is connected with the meaning ''to be in a state of Honour.'' To honour oneself.

    all of his/her life is to be dedicated to get to know him/herself  @ Gnu

    I really agree - to know oneself is the bigger picture. Was just posting this to share psychological management tips I have discovered along the way as I think that's what we do most of the time on the path to bigger picture....try to manage our pesky minds. Well, maybe that's just me..I need to manage my silly mind. The tips may or may not help others, as we all are so different.

    (hahah I much prefer you as De Niro than in that AWFUL pink frock.)

  • Look, Im here to share my two cents so pardon me If I sound like some alpha male wiseguy and come out as pissing on someones parade.

    This is not my aim.I will just shear my view..

    For the fallen man all of his/her life is to be dedicated to get to know him/herself because in this way will man become human and as such comprehend his/her divine nature through its connection and relation to God.Only when man becomes human will he/she actually managed to live life

    in the fullest.The divine task of the human is to refine life.

  • A teacher of mine in grade school once said he sees the purpose of life as problem solving. I always remembered that. At the time I did not like the statement. There is truth in everything or half truths as the Kybalion says. I think we are hard wired to seek out problems or "addictions" to attach to. All this so that we feel alive and are able to conquer death and darkness in the lowest sense of the words.

    We either feel the or flee from emotions and addictions..  Whether we feel them or flee them it is all because of some type of "addiction".

    “Honesty is the secret of survival, and it minimizes nearly all the problems of life. The individual who is emotionally and mentally honest has a great deal more chance of being physically healthy. Because the disturbances of the emotions are what cause a great deal of sickness, almost all of the troubles that we have arise from the interference that we create between the levels of our own constitution. The mind betrays the heart, the heart betrays the health, and all these things fall into a common ruin.”

    - Manly P. Hall : Secret of the Untroubled Mind

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