Why is Pain the Cornerstone of Growth in Recovery?

Why is Pain the Cornerstone of Growth in Recovery?

Rarely does someone get sober and begin their recovery on a winning streak. Most people who try to get sober have been pretty badly mangled by drugs and alcohol and have come to the point of losing important relationships, going to jail, becoming institutionalized, or worst-case scenario, dying. While these options may seem overly dramatic, these are some of the most prevalent reasons that people begin their journey in recovery. Those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol really only have two choices – continue to suffer through their consequences or get into enough pain that they will change.

They are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Although this phrase is used a lot in recovery, there is no other way to describe how someone feels when they have hit one of the lowest, if not the lowest, points in their addiction. Drugs and alcohol affect a person physically, mentally, and spiritually. People become malnourished, angry, hopeless, and isolated because they cannot stop the phenomenon of craving or give in to their obsession with drugs and alcohol for the sake of being sober. When they finally get that moment of clarity, they realize how sick they are and wish that they could finally get sober to live the life they were meant to. 

They would rather be sober more than they want to be high.

There will come a time when a person will come to the conclusion that a spiritual change is crucial or else, they could face some repercussions that will nonetheless be agonizing. They know are not doing the right thing in their life but continue to keep drink and use because they cannot see a way out of their addiction. Getting drunk and high have stopped working for them and they realize that they want to get sober.

They cannot stop once they stop.

The solution that most people come up with to offer their addicted loved one is to suggest they stop drinking – just like that. Someone who suffers from a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) does not have the luxury to stop once they have already started. Once any alcohol or drugs get into an addicted person’s body, they suffer from an allergy that takes over their whole being. The reward center in the brain becomes greatly affected with dopamine which the brain then orders the body to ingest more and more of, no matter how drunk or high they are, until a blackout or a pass out occurs. In theory, an addicted person would most likely prefer to stop – they just cannot on their own until they learn how to say “no” altogether.  

They decide they are powerless.

Getting to the point of understanding they are powerless over drugs and alcohol is a huge step in the right direction into recovery. Many people who have a problem with substance abuse will grieve the loss of what they consider to be their best friend – drugs, and alcohol. For many this in itself is a painful process because they are saying goodbye to their normal coping mechanisms and learning to use new ones to keep them sober. From this pain usually comes the “gift of desperation” which means that they are finally ready to do whatever it takes to begin their sober life.

They are willing to go to any lengths to stay sober.

Taking the effort to get a person’s addiction to drugs and alcohol under control will take some time and dedication on their part. Working the 12-Steps, attending therapy regularly, supporting local 12-Step meetings, and being of service have proven to be some of the best actions that a person who wishes to recover can take. The pain of the past, the pain of their present addiction, and the chance to suppress the pain in their future is hopefully enough motivation to get them ready to finally surrender.

They need loved ones to support their recovery

This is where you can come in and become instrumental in their recovery. You cannot take the actions for them, but you can certainly encourage them, cheer them on, and have compassion for them when they make mistakes because they will. There may be times you may feel codependent on their recovery and try to enable them because you love them. Keeping a healthy distance and getting your own help to understand how addiction works will allow you to make better decisions regarding how to respond to their pain, their growth, their possible relapse, and their new transformation.

Pain is the underlying cause of addiction in every way, shape, and form. Relief is the result of getting sober and recovering which affects everyone who is involved. The cornerstone of pain is growth because, without the discomfort, there would be no acceptance of being exactly where one is supposed to be in their recovery. 

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Detox Center of Colorado offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Detox Center of Colorado fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463

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