One of the most common things I’m often asked by those who feel sympathy for my long battle with chronic pain is why I don’t take things like medical marijuana, Cymbalta, or Lyrica, each of which are geared to help those living with conditions like mine. There’s a simple answer for that. Things like them tend to numb me from connecting in my heart to the world around me and to my Higher Power as well, ultimately leading me to feeling rather disconnected and inauthentic in life.
While living with high levels of chronic pain on a daily basis does indeed tend to royally suck, if there’s one positive thing I can say that comes from choosing to not take anything to curb it, is that I’m able to legitimately speak about my experiences, strengths, and hopes in life from my heart, something that marijuana and anti-depressants have always prevented me from doing. Please don’t take me wrong though because I would never knock someone else for going down the path of needing those things to cope with their painful conditions in life. And I personally can’t say I’ll never do them again because I don’t know what my future holds. I just know for now, I’m choosing to live with the levels of pain I do because I feel more effective in my ability to live in my heart and to remain open to any communication that comes from Source.
To be rather blunt, the simple reality I’ve faced in life is that drugs and medicines have always left me feeling quite numb to life in general. In fact, my last journey with them came back in 2011 where they left me in a state I really didn’t care about anyone or anything. I honestly developed a “I don’t give a flying f$%#” type of attitude under the influence of them. That being said, I do understand and accept there are very valid reasons for taking things like medical marijuana, Cymbalta, Lyrica, and plenty of other medicines as well that are meant to help pain-filled people cope.
For example, medical marijuana is a great resource for those stricken with disease or illness where one’s appetite is seriously waning. And indeed, when an individual is extremely mentally unstable and unable to function, drugs like Cymbalta and Lyrica can be critical for stabilization. In 2011, when I actually did become mentally unstable, I totally needed an anti-depressant to even face the issues I was going through at the time. It’s what happened after I faced those issues that became the problem. Because the tendency for an addict is to stay on a drug or medicine long after the problems are under control, thus leaving them to rely upon it more than a Higher Power, clinging to it for stability, and becoming dependent all over again on something else, which is the very thing that began to happen to me back then. Ultimately, I became so numb in doing so, that I no longer felt my heart, God, and life in general, which eventually led me to a suicide attempt. It’s precisely what led me to the belief that feeling pain is often a necessity in life on a spiritual journey. Yes, I really indeed said that. Because for all the moments in my life where I numbed myself through addiction, or took things to cope with pain, I found very little purpose and reason to keep going in life and stopped caring about myself and the world around me.
So yes, I’m choosing presently to fully experience the pain I’m going through, which has left me on most days feeling levels of pain that are quite difficult to navigate. But, it’s that pain that drives me to get on my knees and pray every day, sometimes in heavy tears, where I ask God for the strength to keep going, where I think of others and their sufferings and pray for them as well, and where I continue to ask for a release from this burden, things I’ve always stopped doing whenever I’ve numbed myself with any type of drugs or medicine that are meant to curb pain.
The bottom line is that choosing to live in this pain has helped me to really understand others going through their own painful sufferings in life and have compassion for them. Take one of my dear friends for example who suffers from Parkinson’s. My heart feels an incredible amount of compassion for the pain he endures from it. But, I know well enough that if I took medical marijuana or things like Cymbalta or Lyrica to cope with my pain, I wouldn’t care about my friend or his condition, because it simply just leaves me not caring about anything at all other than keeping myself numb from my own pain.
Look, I’m not a martyr and also not saying that my path is one many would probably take. I’m only saying that I know I’ve become a far more caring, compassionate, and loving human being in life by choosing to live through my pain, rather than choosing to numb myself from it.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson