A couple of years ago, I had dislocated my toe. I was in a considerable amount of pain and hence I went to the doctor. The entire treatment was a three stage process -
- Numb the pain - Local anesthesia.
- Treatment - Put the bones where they need to be.
- Recovery - rest for a while before being back to normal.
The process is straightforward and it also applies to our emotional pain too. We do a whole bunch of things to numb the emotional pain including alcohol, drugs, food, sex, relationships, money, work, caretaking, gambling, affairs, religion, shopping, planning, perfectionism, constant change and the internet. To make the list complete, there’s always staying busy.
There are a couple of issues with this approach -
- We can’t selectively numb emotions - when we numb the dark, we also numb the light.
- We also never get to the treatment (step 2 above). This is because once we’ve numbed the pain, we get comfortable and feel we’re back to normal. We don’t feel the necessity to treat the pain (until it hurts us again ofcourse).
Source - Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Code. Learn. Explore