The Art of Sober Pain Management

Understanding the art of sober pain management requires understanding pain. Pain is a distressing feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli. This is a feeling that always finds us, somehow some way. Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding; there’s no way to avoid it in its entirety. There’s times when it’s physical pain from waking up in a hurry and having stubbed your toe through overcompensation of your lateness. The faster you go the more behind you get. Other times it’s emotional pain from the love of your life leaving you after 4 years of always being late to everything. One way or another it shows up unwarranted, provoking a reaction.  

You know what else is always waiting for a reaction? Addiction, and it’s always generating negative reactions at that. This is one of the reasons why pain and alcoholic thinking have always gone together so well. The negativity of pain and the negativity of alcoholic thinking go together so well. One causes the other, then the combo sucks individuals into a cycle of misery and misunderstanding that only gets worse before better.

Most people are always searching for their little slice of happiness, but we never take into account how contingent that glee is upon the agony we’ve discovered in pursuit. To find the beauty sometimes we have to endure the ugly. Triumph comes from dying, and sometimes joy comes from crying; even healing is a feeling.

Then there are times the pain can is so immense that we would do anything not to feel it. Some of us turn to pain killers while others turn to booze, crying out to stars as we writhe in torment. Addiction then only feigns to hear the cry for help, providing a temporary solution. However, bandaids don’t heal that of which stitches are required. Alcoholic thinking will try to convince the strongest of minds that escapisms like getting loaded will help mend us, but unpardonable obsessions are only awoken through this manner of thinking. Because of this, knowing our place in sobriety while dealing with pain is something to be admired. The art of sober pain management takes time to master, but it’s a vital practice for the recovery end of the spectrum.

Healthy Options for Pain Management

Entering recovery, most of us are suffocated by the avalanche of emotion that rockslides our way. For years we kept all emotions we didn’t want to deal with at bay through escapisms of some sort. Realities would become muted through forms of self-mutilation, gambling, or engorging upon a chemical buffet. Nonetheless, all of these are forms of alcoholic thinking preying upon the insurmountable pain we’ve deemed ourselves to be in. As you can imagine, these are nowhere near the basis of sober pain management. These are forms of alcoholic thinking winning.

Governing our discomforts with methods of sober pain management typically works in a proactive way that benefits recovery. Some of the sober pain management options recommended to those in recovery usually covers:

  • Seeing a Chiropractor
  • Seeing a Therapist
  • Physical Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise/Stretching
  • Yoga/Meditation/Prayer
  • Vitamin Therapy

The essential remedy depends on the type of pain being endured. For severe situations, don’t hesitate to call 911 or go to the emergency room. Some physical pain might require surgery or immediate medical attention as the pain management option. Every situation is individualized of course. Some people can handle more pain than others; every emotional and physical threshold is different. However, we are in control of how we feel that pain. Our acceptance of it deciphers our reaction it. Everything we do in accordance with that pain is a reaction that we are still in control of, even when it may not seem like it.  

Dealing with External Pain

When it comes to physical pain, there are many options for it. Aside from the drug lobbyist pushed pain killers spewing out the pharmaceutical labs, there are non-narcotic options such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Tylenol, etc. These are over the counter medicines that can be bought to lessen any physical hurt that may be occuring. However, be warned that these are to be taken sparingly. Eating these like candy can cause organ failing issues that most would prefer without.

Depending on the form of pain, changing diet and various things can improve some injuries beyond belief. Even daily stretching can correct musculoskeletal discomfort some feel regularly. Of course with some problems it’s best to consult a doctor for the safest advice if there is a level of uncertainty ever. As addicts we are great at undermining and/or overmining everything we do.

Dealing with Internal Pain

Then when it comes to the emotional afflictions we endure inside, sometimes it’s about looking just a little deeper into the pain perceived. This is where the serenity delivering art form of meditation walks in.

Meditation is a state of mind and body that can bring about relaxation while we search for answers to our pain. Meditation is a mental form of stretching that evokes introspection to help understand things we were previously unaware of. An inspection of the pain thru spiritual understanding allows an overall greater understanding of everything encompassed in that pain. Practicing meditation is an excellent pain management technique in sobriety. It creates a mental bridge between the gap of knowledge and learning thus helping to heal our emotional pain if we allow it.  

Unfortunately, pain is a vital ingredient to the relationship with self. Fear, self esteem, and happiness are all different emotional aspects that weather through pain endured. We have to recognize this and rise up though. It’s all such an enormous growing process. Much of our pain is self chosen, sober pain management helps us realize this. Although pain is necessary for balance, it doesn’t have to dictate the quality of life.