"The pains, which are yet to come, can be and should be avoided"
Peter R. Coleman, M.D.
At a recent yoga class I attended, the teacher spoke on this ancient piece of wisdom from the Vedas. Like many spiritual truths, it is immediately obvious but in practice even an obvious truth like this is hard to put into practice. It got me thinking about recovery, because what we are mainly doing in recovery is avoiding future suffering.
Drugs and alcohol definitely cause future suffering – sometimes the future suffering comes pretty quickly – like a hangover the next morning. Sometimes the suffering comes much later, like my 55 yr. old patient who needs a liver transplant. Drugs usually cover up suffering in the here and now, which is one of the main reasons people use them. We may feel anxious talking to girls, so we have a couple of drinks. We may be lonely or bored, so we get high and believe we are actually doing something. We may be unhappy in our job, so we have a drink after work and the job doesn’t seem so bad.
But the pain comes back quickly, and it usually comes back with compounded interest. By using drugs and alcohol, we actually prevent ourselves from fully experiencing the situation that was causing us pain and we rob ourselves of the chance to heal the pain. Drugs also have side effects that make our suffering worse and we can even develop physical addiction that makes our problems ten times worse.
Stopping drugs and being in recovery takes discipline – just like the yoga class. It is not for faint of heart. It is not for people only interested in the easier, softer way. It requires honesty, patience, and trying new things that are immediately uncomfortable. It requires putting off immediate gratification, in return for long-term happiness.
So, the paradox is that being in recovery is both more work and less work. In the early stages, it requires effort and change, but once you get into the habit recovery is actually the easier and softer way. Recovery is the way to avoid future suffering – which can be, and should be avoided.
We are here to help and you matter to us at The Coleman Institute! If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiates, alcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1-877-773-3869. We are just a phone call away!