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4 min read

Break the Stigma: Turn Pain Into Purpose

Addiction recovery is more than abstinence from substances. Abstinence plays a vital role in recovery, but it does not automatically equate to recovery alone. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), recovery is “A process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”

Fortunately, recovery has become a reality for millions of Americans, but individuals struggling with addiction continually face criticism for their disease. The stigma surrounding addiction creates shame within those with substance use disorders (SUDs).

Hospital staff members often reject individuals who enter emergency rooms for withdrawal symptoms because they believe that the patient solely only wants more drugs. Yet society wonders why tens of thousands of deaths occur annually due to untreated alcohol or drug use. When a person struggling with addiction seeks help and is denied support, they feel stigmatized, shame, and may refuse to seek further treatment.

Ways to Break the Stigma

Finding ways to break the stigma associated with addiction can help spread awareness about alcohol and drug use disorders. It can also help those in recovery discover triumph amongst their tragedy. Some ways you can help save lives and break the stigma include:

#1. Share stories. Someone who has lived through addiction and recovery might shout their success to the world. Science has proven that no one achieves recovery alone. The voice and stories of recoverees can influence others who need treatment. Sharing a path of resilience can change lives.

#2. Become an advocate. Involvement in awareness groups helps others know it is okay to seek treatment and heal. Sharing experiences with other people who struggle with alcohol or drug use can change lives. Becoming part of the community can engage and inspire individuals to erase the stigma and shame.

#2. Show compassion and empathy for those suffering from addiction. An individual who has never been in recovery has no idea what it is like, so conversations with someone in recovery or in need of treatment should be nothing but understanding. These people should be shown empathy, seeing the person and not the problem. Understanding, compassion, and kindness can break down any barriers they have built to hide their shame and ultimately help them find purpose in their pain.

In recovery, individuals can radically transform and enhance their mental, physical, spiritual, and financial health through the addiction recovery process. They can also improve their relationships, parenting techniques, employment opportunities, and purpose in life.

The Purpose in Pain

Discovering purpose in pain is an essential part of the healing process in recovery. Although grasping why the pain occurred in the first place may never happen, deciding how to live with painful experiences is critical.

It may be challenging for a person to hear that their pain exists to provide a purpose in life. Regardless, everyone will experience pain at one point; it’s inevitable. Painful experiences are heart-wrenching and exhausting, but when the pain is processed and appreciated in positive ways, the impossible becomes possible.

Through healing, there are positive aspects of pain that will begin to appear if allowed to, including:

#1. Pain can produce change and cause reflection and making new choices. Situations that may be hurtful can challenge comfort zones and force people to manage misfortunes they never thought possible. When people realize what they are capable of, they often gather the strength to keep going.

#2. Pain can encourage people to pursue healthy habits and relationships. Individuals may not have been good to themselves and allowed unhealthy coping skills to diminish their health and damage relationships. This destruction cannot be erased, but it can be repaired and even restored.

#3. Pain can push a person to take action in their life. Pain can force someone to grow into someone they are proud of. It is not always easy to figure out one's purpose, and some recovering individuals may question if anything they experienced has a more profound significance. Those in recovery from addiction can transform through their suffering and use their first-hand experiences to help others with addiction, providing them with a sense of belonging.

#4. Pain can awaken gratitude for what one has and helps in discovering how to find the silver lining. People may not show thankfulness for what is happening in the present moment. Instead, they may focus on how strong the experience made them, showing gratitude for how they can overcome challenges.

#5. Pain can deepen compassion and empathy towards others. Experiencing deep pain often softens one's heart. Connecting with others who are hurting and helping them heal by showing genuine compassion and empathy for their pain can be a profoundly rewarding experience.

People in recovery can drastically transform and find purpose through the pain in their lives and help break the stigma surrounding substance abuse. If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol or drug addiction, the time to seek help is now. Present Moments Recovery in San Diego, California, provides an individualized and inclusive approach to addiction with various levels of care to ensure an effective recovery. At our family-run treatment center, you have the opportunity to talk with therapists one-on-one, ensuring that all of your needs are satisfied. We focus on extensive treatment that is less intensive to support long-term recovery. In addition, we offer a calming and home-like environment where you can finally allow yourself to heal. Present Moments Recovery believes that healing only happens in the present moment. Call us today and learn more about our services at (619) 363-4767.



Read Full Bio
Mark G
Mark Gladden brings both personal and professional experience to his role as co-founder of Present Moments Recovery. Now in long-term recovery himself after struggling with addiction for years, Mark understands firsthand the challenges men face in achieving and maintaining sobriety. It was this insight, combined with a desire to help others, that led Mark to establish Present Moments Recovery.

Get in Touch with Our Caring Team

We are waiting for your call. Don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and dial 619-363-4767 today.

Your first call will be greeted by one of our intake counselors who will be able to provide information on what program would be appropriate for your situation, as well as information about the process of getting treatment at our facility, if appropriate.

If Present Moments is the right fit for your current situation you will be speaking to Admissions Director Mark Gladden, who will be your guide throughout the process of arranging travel and undergoing an initial detox (if necessary). Mark has been the guide for dozens of men and women who have gotten their lives back by entering treatment at Present Moments. He has earned his reputation as being truly dedicated to the recovery of others. Mark will be the one to ‘show you the ropes’ when it comes to admitting to our facility for treatment

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