Friday, June 21, 2013

Chronic Pain: 'Eye to Eye'

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Recently, I was in a rush to an appointment.  As I came upon a traffic light, I noticed two men crossing the street very slowly.  The light was red on my side necessitating a brief stop.  As I watched the two men, I noticed they both had long, white sticks with red ends touching the street.  They were blind. 

My previous foul mood just got a little worse.  I wasn't mad at the blind men, rather, I was angry at their 'chronic pain' of being blind and not being able to find the sidewalk.  It was pitiful to watch as they swung their sticks back and forth, to and fro, vainly searching for the sidewalk that was all of about 5 inches away.  I wished my car was closer so I could have rolled down the window and instructed them where to step so they could get onto the sidewalk safely. 

As the light turned green and I drove past the two men who still hadn't found the sidewalk, I was struck by how annoying that must be for them.  Perhaps they were born that way and never knew any different.  Or, perhaps more tragically, they lost their eyesight in an accident or due to a disease they could not cure.  Either way, it is safe to say that being blind in a 'sighted community' is a challenge to say the least. 

Most would not consider being blind 'chronic pain' and perhaps it isn't from a physical standpoint.  But, it begs the question, what exactly is 'chronic pain'?  It seems that chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than 3 months and is impervious to standard medical care.  This can be everything from Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, sports injuries, and genetically-inherited diseases, etc.  While the symptoms look different from person to person, the problem is the same: the pain.  It won't go away.  It won't come back another day because it never leaves in the first place. 

Addiction is a tricky monster and people get addicted for all sorts of reasons.  At The Coleman Institute, we treat all addicts and alcoholics with compassion and non-judgment.  If yours is a chronic pain issue for which you followed the doctor's orders and got stuck on pain pills, we can help you.  If you are in great health but decided to stay at the party a little too long and got hooked via 'chemical recreation', we can help you too.  We try to help people see that addiction is addiction is addiction whether you are introduced to it after your torn ACL surgery, the annual Christmas party at your job, or after too many nights at the local Frat House during your college years.  The 'how' is not as important as the 'how-to'.  That is, 'how-to-fix the issue' you suffer from.  That's where you come in! 

If you or someone you love has had enough of dealing with chronic pain via prescription pills or have reached the limits of recreational drugs use, please do not hesitate to call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart.  Regardless of the reason(s) for your use, we can assure your full anonymity and confidentiality in a safe, non-judgmental environment as you seek freedom from opiates, alcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone.  Our number is 1-877-773-3869.  We're here for you! 

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