Addicted to Feeling Better

How can you expect not to become addicted to something that makes you feel better? How can you expect not to become dependent upon that medical elixir? How can you prevent loathing the return to your natural state once your body uses up the medication?

When the only alternative to a plethora of failed medicinal remedies is becoming unmedicated, it’s time to face the person you are without it: the lonely, the pained, the nauseated, the depressed, the anxious. What if this was a daily occurrence in your life? For some, being medicated may return them to their normal self, as taking an aspirin would relieve a headache. But, what if your normal was that headache? What if every time you medicated to abate it, you removed yourself from that plight only temporarily? For me, the “headache” will always return. The frustration in its presence, and the desire for that less-unpleasant feeling, has had me repeatedly trying to escape from that which cannot be escaped permanently. I will always be medicated, because my normal will always hurt, and stronger and stronger doses will be required to counter my body’s tolerance of the treatment.

There is another way: do not attempt escape. This solution may seem counterintuitive; I reject it myself at times, but I find the alternative to be both futile and exhausting. In these moments, I am thrown back into a cycle of medicated bliss that, only too soon, comes crashing down. The energy saved from not trying to escape the pain, however, appears to aid in the ability to cope with it. This way of thinking does not make the discomfort go away. Rather, it makes it less bothersome. I notice the pain in a different way because I am not actively engaged in trying to run from it. Acceptance liberates energy that I would once have wasted on evasion.

It is not a magic spell that has alleviated my discomfort. Nothing, not even narcotics, truly does this. It is the simple matter of energy conservation, and in finding satisfaction in the things I love to do. The discomfort my condition has caused is everlasting, but perhaps in learning to tolerate pain I can find balance.

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