Pain Is Your Friend


We live in a society where it is considered “abnormal” or “unacceptable” to have or experience pain. We are inundated with messages telling us that not only should we not experience pain, but that it is our right NOT to experience pain. However, pain is your friend.

This doesn’t just mean physical pain.  It refers to all forms of pain, including emotional, mental and spiritual. We are taught to mask or treat every emotion or feeling as if we are not humans who are designed to think and feel. We avoid, at all costs, ourselves (and others) to feel any discomfort.

Is total avoidance of pain a possibility? Of course not! We are humans. When we get cut, we will bleed, and we will hurt. Our bodies are brilliantly designed to send warning signals to let us know when we need to address danger that is causing us harm. And not just physical harm, but emotional harm as well.





Pain Is A Signal.

Pain is a signal that something is happening, such as the pain in childbirth, for example.  Or the pain associated with surgery that eventually makes things better. Things often get worse and more painful before they get better. In fact, a great deal of pain is proof-positive that change is happening. Sometimes it is called “growing pains.”


Pain Is A Powerful Motivator.

Often times, we need a little pain to help motivate us and drive us to necessary change.  Pain and discomfort are very powerful teachers.  When we pay attention to the root cause of pain, we learn a tremendous amount about ourselves. Why am I feeling uncomfortable? Does this tell me something about myself? The tricky part is knowing what to do with what we learn from pain.


Let It Hurt.

Letting a loved one feel their own hurt and experience negative consequences from poor decision-making can be a tough concept to digest at first. Upon reflection, family members can begin to see how their loved one, who may be addicted or struggling in some other way, needs to feel the full impact of their behaviors. They also need to be given the dignity to work through their feelings and initiate their own behaviors of change.  By letting it hurt, family members are released from their sense of over-responsibility and protection for their loved one who may be in trouble. The person experiencing pain then has the opportunity to learn and grow from their own natural consequences related to their addicted or otherwise troubling behaviors.


Oftentimes, the immediate response to pain is to nix the source and only focus on getting rid of the symptoms and the associated pains. In doing so, we can often miss the lessons needed to avoid future bouts of the same pain. “Pain is your friend” is one of those lessons. This is especially true for people in pain.

The quest to avoid pain becomes a negative feedback loop of consequences and denial. For the person struggling with addiction, for example, there seems to be a disconnect between cause and effect, particularly the more progressed the addiction becomes. Pain is your friend by doing what it can to get your life back on track. It can be a blessing in disguise and exactly what you may need to get you to ask for help and move into recovery.


If you or a loved one is in need of support, Low Country Counseling offers specialized therapy for Individuals, Moms, Couples, Families, Children, and Teens. Contact us for any questions you need answered or to schedule an appointment. Help is available. You are not alone!

Hope Starts HERE.


Written by: Janis Ellington, CAC-II, RPS
Janis works in both private practice and with higher-level treatment centers nationwide. She specializes in working with chemical dependency and with those who love someone experiencing addiction. She has a passion for connecting people with the right form of treatment for their needs. Her practice, Addiction Recovery Strategies, serves anyone seeking addiction help for themselves or a for a loved one in Savannah, GA and the Southeast.