Chris Newcomb, M.Div.
I remember as a child being told it was “time to take a nap”. Upon hearing those words, a dark force would immediately rise within me preparing to go to war against the ‘Nap Aggressors” (a.k.a. my parents). I did not want to miss anything. Unfortunately, I lost every time.
The reality is that naps are now one of my favorite past times. There is nothing quite like lying down in the bed on a Sunday afternoon to get some “nap shut eye”. I love it and I do it every week!
On a more serious note, how often do we feel like hiding from our lives? I think most of us have tried to hide from life at least once if not more often if we are honest. Life is tough. It is sharp. It has edges. If you live long enough, you will experience pain. If you live long enough, you will want to check out. Unfortunately, naps aren’t always the obvious choice for many people.
When life gets overwhelming, we often seek out chemical substances when our emotions feel out of control. In theory, it works. In the beginning, it seems like chemical nirvana has been discovered until physical tolerance sets in and exposes the mirage as nothing more than a mouthful of hot, gritty sand.
We get 8 hours a day to escape life in a ‘coma’. It’s called sleep. We’re not meant to live life in a coma. We are meant to be wide awake!
Do you try to escape and hide from your life through drugs and alcohol? Do you party every chance you get so you can avoid relationships and responsibilities? Perhaps you suffer from chronic pain and you just can’t stand the pain anymore so you take more of your prescription medicine than is directed?
The good news is this: you can learn to live life sober and wide awake and full of joy. It might take some time at first. It may be even frustrating. However, you can do it!
The most important thing you can do is check-in with other people in recovery. Whenever you feel the desire to check-out into a ‘small coma’, take action and call someone. Meet a friend for coffee. Go to the gym with a buddy. Do whatever you can to connect with someone else so you will feel understood and supported. This will most certainly reduce the desire to check-out. Remember, connection defeats isolation.