What do you do to numb the emotional pain? What is your “pain killer” of choice?

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Healing Personal Development & Growth Self Awareness

What do you do to numb the emotional pain? What is your “pain killer” of choice?

Are you aware of the fact that you “self-medicate”?

My emotional pain translated into physical

For years I wasn’t aware of the emotional pain. I thought that the gut wrenching feeling I experienced was normal. This feeling only went away when I was “high” on adrenaline; being a daredevil or playing contact or competitive sports 

My nervous system was so messed up from trauma that I kept getting physically ill. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 25 (which turned out to be benign). Then came depression and anorexia at 26 followed by an auto-immune disease at 29. After that, a breast tumor at 37 (benign as well). To save the best for last, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma (not benign this time) at 45. 

I lived on adrenaline, cortisol and dopamine which poisoned my body and psyche for years before I finally got it. Every time I fell seriously ill, I would make a drastic change in my life. The change would get me going for some time until my body, which, by the way, never lies, would say otherwise.

By the time I got cancer, at 45, and through various healing methods, I had already experienced calm, lucid, I would dare say, awakened moments and was striving to make them last longer every time until they became my permanent state of being . Unfortunately, to no avail. The pain, the anger, the sorrow, the anxiety, they would come back to haunt me every time an event would trigger me. Something would always happen to throw me off my “game”. 

Denying my feelings and my reality

After years of being in denial of my feelings and of the traumatic events of my childhood to subconsciously protect myself from facing truths that, at the time I could not bear, I finally was ready and strong enough to “see”. Thanks to lucid moments, I had learnt to recognize and acknowledge my feelings and accept my reality. I wouldn’t hide behind my spirituality or my positive thinking any more and turn a blind eye to what was before labeled as “negative feelings that spiritual people do not experience”. Every time I experienced those “unwanted” feelings, I would try my best to change my mood and get over the “funk” resorting to my “drug” of choice; adrenaline through sports. If you read my blog Anger and how to harness it for our benefit, you will understand what I mean. 

When I wrote the aforementioned blog three years ago, I had already recognized my anger (and other so called negative emotions) but not the fact that I “self-medicated” to numb the pain.


I only started to be aware of the concept of “self-medicating” when I broke my arm two years ago. This is when I realized that I couldn’t get my “fix” any more. As a result of my injury, I had to go “cold turkey” and experience my emotional pain in all its magnitude. 

It was what motivated me one more time to take the necessary measures (if you know me at all you must know that I am a person of action – proactive to the bone). As a result, the pain went away. You can read all about it in my blog What is our anger trying to tell us?”

Acknowledging trauma

Until I was triggered again and resorted to adrenaline again. Guess what. I got a new injury and I had to sit on the pain again. I then realized that until I accepted (=acknowledged) my trauma, I would never get out of this vicious circle. My health problems, my injuries, it was my body, my inner self, my inner wisdom, who took away the “pain killer” to help me see the trauma and motivate me to heal rather than mask it.

There will be more on acknowledging traumatic experiences but for now please ponder on the following question:

What is YOUR “pain killer” of choice?

Could it be addiction to food, alcohol, drugs, work, sex etc.?

Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

Comments (2)

  1. Vivarama

    Food is my pain killer

    1. Now that you know your favorite “pain killer”, you have to go beyond the triggers and find, acknowledge and accept the source of the original pain.

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