Suffering in Addiction Recovery is Inevitable
It is one of those truisms about life that bad things happen to everyone, including good people. This is just the way life is. Cars get flat tires. People are told by their doctor that they have cancer. Teenaged daughters get pregnant. People get laid off from work. Water pipes burst while homeowners are on vacation.
Because bad things happen it is the reality of life that people suffer. Some of the greatest thinkers who have ever lived, such as the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, helped us understand that each person will suffer simply because of the fact that he or she is alive. Today, we seem to have developed an idea that suffering is bad. According to television commercials, if you suffer then you are not fully alive. But everyone suffers. Perhaps suffering is not as bad as many people think.
Nietzsche said that individuals will accept any amount of suffering, provided they can see a reason for it. Someone might join the military because of a belief that they want to do their part to stop an aggressor. Someone might take time off work and lose pay because they feel a speeding ticket was unjust and want to fight it in court. We also know from research that suffering is usually the trigger to grow as a person. It is by overcoming adversity that we become stronger and more capable of dealing with life’s curve balls.
Unnecessary suffering is what is bad about suffering. If you suffer because of things you are neglecting to do, then there is no reason for the suffering.
The lesson: You will never eliminate suffering, because it is as natural to life as a heart beat. The key to dealing with suffering is to dig deep inside yourself and find courage, perseverance, hope, and faith—and affirm life is worth living in spite of suffering. If you do this, you will not eliminate suffering, but you will rise above it.