Saturday, April 11, 2015

Falseness of Numb

When combating crisis, whether it be in the form of trauma, illness, depression or loss, we often become so overwhelmed we desperately seek outlets of escape. When feeling everything too acutely, it seems a blessing to find a way to go numb.

Lessening pain is very important, whether emotional or physical, but we have to tread careful. Not all outlets of escape have a lasting, positive affect. All numb is not always a good thing. Some escapes can actually cause more harm to an already vulnerable soul.

A doctor once pointed out to me, while I was taking Dilaudid, why I was being watched so closely for signs of euphoria. He explained that when a body rages with physical pain, medications surge around that pain trying to push it back. You might sleep, become less cognizant, have trouble focusing or reacting quickly, even get a little loopy as a result, but the medication is treating the pain, making it more bearable.

However, when you become beyond giddy, feeling high, the physical pain is no longer where the medication is primarily going. It is a sign to the doctors that it is time to ween onto a lesser or different medication. On the surface this makes sense, but the truth of struggling with trauma is you would love to feel something besides the trauma.

This is where escaping starts to cause trouble.

Maybe you take an extra pill. Maybe you have a drink, maybe you have a couple of drinks. Maybe you take drugs. Maybe you do something risky or dangerous to take your mind off your reality. Maybe you behave out of character in a way which gives you a momentary escape, but emotionally endangers another aspect of your life.

Many behaviors can have a numbing affect, but they are not healing. Numbing of this type only masks the pain and the trauma. It is a false escape and does nothing to cure the crisis.

It can actually weaken your ability to cope even further as it progresses, adding more vulnerability to and compounding an already delicate situation. It may also lead to additional crises as a person relies more and more on seeking numbness while focusing less and less on surviving.

When these happen, an outlet of escape can become traumatic in itself. It may put you on a path towards more pain, complications, and loss. In advanced attempts at numbing, you may actually endanger your survival or chance at mental, emotional stability. The affects can be long term and drastically alter your life.

Try to find healthy ways of escaping and easing your burden. Find alternate forms of escape to rely on, even if they feel less effective in the moment.

It isn't easy to choose to endure more of your pain, but sometimes it is better to feel something other than numb. In the long term, it is more important to be present in your own life, then to escape into the false comfort of numbness.

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