For the last seven days I have been in what people refer to as chronic pain. A pulled muscle in my neck along with a separate pulled muscle in my shoulder(deltoid muscle) has been in the forefront of mind day and night. I’m finally on the other side of it, but it left an impression on my heart.
I’ve been reminded of those that struggle with addictions, or depression that leads them to addiction. Those out there that still have that small voice (their conscious) telling them not to use, not to deceive others, and not to continue down the path they’re on. Yet they do it anyhow.
I was one of those people before I came to Christ. I would hear the voice of reason in my heart, but I would ignore it every single time. As time wore on and the battles tore me down, battles I created for myself, I would become used to the pain. I didn’t know what life was like without pain. I had no clue what sober felt like. What was on the other side of the pain I dealt with?
When dealing with chronic physical pain, one learns how to live with it. How to accommodate the pain. For example, I slept on the couch with a footstool pushed up to the side so that my arm could extend out from my body. This position didn’t look like it made sense, as a matter of fact my husband woke me to ask me why was I on the couch. My response was, it doesn’t hurt this way.
A long day of drinking followed by a night of cocaine and music may be just prescription for the addict to get away from the chronic pain. But just like when I woke on the couch still in pain, the addict wakes the next morning sober and in pain.
Do you know someone in this type of cycle? Do you judge them in your heart, thinking they know better, why do they do it? With your arms folded and your nose in the air, do you swear off speaking to them until they get their act right? I think I can say we have all been in this position, with or without our perfect noses in the air.
What if we woke them from their slumber and asked them why are you living life this way? Or what if we woke them asked if there was anything we could do to make the pain better?
There is residual trace of the pain in my neck and shoulder. There are moments when it doesn’t ache and feels just like I begged God for those sleepless nights. I think back to the days of what seemed like pain that would never end and I cannot remember the pain the way it felt. God will do this for the addict as well. I look back on my days of using, lying and cheating; I don’t feel the pain of those days as I used to. I don’t even feel the shame of the choices I made like I used to. The memory is there but the physical pain is gone.