How being willing to feel pain will help you when your child is struggling with substances

One of the reasons your child uses substances is to avoid pain.

The reason they want to avoid pain is because that is how their brain is wired.

Ironically, the substance they use to avoid pain just creates more pain.

It creates more pain for them, and everyone who loves them.

Then, those of us who love them avoid our pain by over eating, drinking, working, shopping, gambling, scrolling though Facebook for hours, feeling confused & overwhelmed, watching Netflix, worrying about our kids, etc. 

When we avoid emotional pain because we don’t know how to cope with it, we create even more pain and tremendous suffering on top of our original pain.

We are designed to process pain.

Pain is a normal part of the human experience.

Yet every time we experience pain, we think something isn’t normal.

We think it’s normal to be happy, but when pain and problems come we think its not normal.

We think it needs to be fixed immediately.

Most pain is intolerable because we resist it or avoid it, which just compounds it.

If you’re able to approach your life with a willingness to feel pain and a willingness to embrace pain, then you will actually reduce the total amount of suffering you have in your life.

What I wrote about vulnerability in a previous post ties in here. 

You have to be vulnerable in order to feel the full spectrum of emotion, good and bad.

You can’t just block out pain and go numb without blocking joy and happiness from your life as well.

When you start moving toward yourself, toward your humanness, and toward your pain in a vulnerable way, you create space around your pain.

This eliminates your fear of the pain.

The fear of pain is really the reason why we try to avoid it, why we resist it, hate it, and push away from it.

When we do that, we’re pushing away the experience of being a human being, the experience of being alive and all the goodness that comes with it as well.

Be willing to embrace all of the emotions that come with being alive.

The benefit is well-being and the ability to handle whatever comes up in your life.

Share this with any mother you know who is dealing with her child’s substance use. 

Chances are she feels alone in her battle to help her child. 

My hope is that by sharing what I have been through and also sharing what has helped me through it, I will get to help even one mother not to feel like she has to go through this alone.