Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pain and Comfort

This past weekend was exceedingly difficult for me. I was completely overwhelmed with everything that I have to do. I felt completely inadequate to be able to keep up with work, school (I'm currently working on a Master's Degree), church callings, and family responsibilities. Add to that counselling and group therapy sessions, and I just couldn't see how it was possible to do everything. I also know that I can't really cut out anything from this list. I have to work to be able to support my family, I know that finishing my degree is something the Lord wants me to do, church callings are important in blessing my life and the lives of those I serve, I need to develop better relationships with my wife and with my children, and counselling and group are essential to my recovery.

I know these are not uncommon, and many people have much more on their plates than I do, but for some reason I was completely overwhelmed to the point of feeling excruciating pain and how much I have to do and how incapable I am of doing it all. This all added up to emotional pain such as I have never felt before. I can't even begin to describe how much this hurt.

I think that pretty much covers the pain part of this post, but what about the comfort part?

Through this experience, I received two types of comfort. The first comfort came in the realization that no matter how bad I felt, I would rather experience that pain than try to mask it with my addictive behaviors. This is a huge breakthrough for me because one of the major components of my addiction was using it to dull the pain I felt from life. Through this experience, I learned that I would rather feel pain in the moment than try to mask it and deal with the consequences of addictive behavior on myself and my family.

The second source of comfort came as I was finally able to come through the pain I was feeling. This comfort came from the Holy Ghost whispering to my hear that I can't do everything I have been asked to do on my own, but I was never asked to do it on my own. I have been asked to do these things by a loving Father in Heaven and He will provide the help I need to be able to complete them. Just like I spent many years trying to overcome my addiction on my own and was never successful, but once I was humble enough to allow the Lord to help me, I started to have success. This is obviously a lesson that I need to learn again. I am not capable of doing anything on my own, but in the strength of the Lord, I can do all things.


  1. common phrase I hear in SA "lean into the pain...lean into the pain." You did just what you should...just take the pain. And the comfort will come. Yep, for years and years, with a hint of pain or stress, we run to the addiction. Not anymore. We have better avenues now.

    1. My therapist often talks about two kinds of pain. There is the pain of self-mastery and the pain of regret. As addicts, we have become so familiar with the pain of regret that in many ways it has become more comfortable for us than the pain of self-mastery. Even though the pain of self-mastery will ultimately lead to the freedom we desire while the pain of regret will only lead to more acting out and regret.

  2. Thank you for this post! It is hard to allow those emotions through, but we can only experience joy if we know pain. :)