“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” Jim Rohn
how we dread the thought of feeling any type of pain. God forbid we
are led to endure any type of discomfort in our lives. Headache? Grab a
bottle of Motrin! Back pain? Get the doctor to write a script of
Vicodin or Oxycodone! Hurt feelings, remorse, or any form of guilt?
Let's drown it all out by consuming a bottle of whiskey! Don't get me
wrong, there certainly is a place for 'pain therapy' but it seems
America is not only attracted to but also addicted to the idea that pain
is meant to escape. Somewhere in our interpretation of 'the pursuit of
happiness', we (Americans) have determined that pain was not contained
within the definition of happiness. In our Disney-fied Hollywood
saturated minds of life, our happily ever after pictures of life have no
place for pain. When pain comes, our first move is to escape it! It
doesn't matter how the headache evolved, all that matters is the pain is
felt, and the goal is NO PAIN.
quick glance at our love affair with painkilling drugs is quite
illuminating. Over an eight year period (1997 - 2005) statistics from
the the Drug Enforcement Administration shows the amount of five major
painkillers sold at retail stores rose 90 percent. More than 200,000
pounds of codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone and meperidine were
purchased at retail stores during the most recent year represented in
the data. That total is enough to give more than 300 milligrams of
painkillers to every person in the country. Without writing a book,
although I could, here are a few statistics concerning just the use of
pain pills alone in these United States.
* Painkillers are the most commonly abused prescription drugs.
* The U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of
painkillers, using 71 percent of the world’s oxycodone and 99 percent
of the world’s hydrocodone, or Vicodin.
* In 1991 there were 40 million prescriptions for painkillers
worldwide, but by 2001, there were 180 million painkiller prescriptions,
most of them in the U.S.
* 7 of the 11 drugs most commonly abused by high school students are prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
* A 2006 survey found that 7 million people 12 and over had abused
prescription or over the counter drugs in the past 30 days. Most abused
* 2.2 million people age 12 and up started abusing painkillers in the last year.
* Young adults, age 18 to 25, show the most painkiller use and the greatest increases in abuse.
* About 1 in 4 teens will abuse prescription drugs before they graduate from high school
* Emergency room visits related to painkiller use rose 153 percent from 1995 to 2002.
* Admissions to drug treatment programs for people using painkillers rose 321 percent from 1995 to 2005.
* The number of people abusing painkillers is estimated to have risen from half a million to 2.5 million between 1985 and 2002.
* Deaths related to painkiller use rose 160 percent from 1999 to 2004.
* The abuse of painkillers causes more deaths than heroine and cocaine combined.
on and on it goes ad nauseam...and this doesn't even include all the
other prescription drugs Americans swallow, inject, inhale, spray,
infuse, and pat on their bodies for medicinal purposes!
seems the more our society unravels, the more we look for solace in
avoiding pain. Every where you look pain is to be avoided at all costs.
From physical pain to spiritual pain, the goal is to minimize its
signal and strength. Like an ostrich with its head stuck in the sand,
we have created this out of sight, out of mind world of illusion. If I
don't confront it, then it doesn't exist. It is far easier to mask the
pain in our body with a drug than to actually have to discipline
ourselves to some requirement of having to change how we do things. The
same tune is sung with our spiritual pain. Rather than deal with our
inner man, we saturate our minds with avoidance techniques. Recreational
drugs of choice helps to enshroud our repressed grudges and anger,
leaving us numb to the realities of life.
just a moment I could get you to step away from your shrine of victim
hood and perpetual pursuit of pain avoidance, I may then be able to get
you to 'see' that pain is good. Think of a life without pain. There
are rare cases in this world where people are born without the ability
to feel pain. There are cases of children, because they were born with
the inability to feel pain, biting their tongues and fingers off. If we
can perceive pain correctly, pain then is a gift from God. Pain tells
us something is not right. The physical pain of a sprained ankle warns
us there is something wrong. If we didn't have that ankle pain, then we
would walk on, causing more and more damage to our body. The spiritual
pain of the psyche warns us we must change our way of thinking and
doing things. Yet, rather than confront, we try to conceal. We begin to
perform covert operations against our own soul. Then when the harvest
of such underground mole work begins to manifest itself in our lives
with alcohol and drug addictions, we then shake our fist at God and
blame Him. When, if the truth be known, God gave us the gift of pain to
guide us back to health.
To confront pain is
not easy. It takes guts. It takes honesty. It takes grit and
determination to deal with pain head on. Only you can take this journey
to confront the inner hurts and pains of life that have seemingly
forever slowed you from achieving and grasping the fullness of life.
Don't you think its time to 'get your head out of the sand' and
confront your life?