99Relapses Podcast Episode #27 Part II- “The Law of Pain” Show Transcript
Hi, I’m James Egidio. So your host of the 99 relapses podcast, the podcast that moves you from recovery to discovery through the grace and mercy of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. This is episode number 27. Part two titled The Law of Pain in Addiction. In this episode, I will discuss how anger and anxiety as a response to that pain. And how it potentially can lead to relapse. Recapping episode number 26, I discussed the law of pain in addiction and I mentioned that addictions are anesthetics for emotional pain not necessarily physical pain, but emotional pain. And that emotional pain comes in the way of a lot of times, in my experience, through coaching and counseling clients through addictions, is that. It’s a way of masking that emotional pain through anger. A lot of times, anxiety, depression, unhealthy relationships and even more substance abuse. And this is a reaction from the limbic system of the brain. That structure that I talked about in episodes number 20 through 23. I also mentioned in episode number 26. That these emotions will lead you down a path to sin because of course, as I’d mentioned in earlier, episodes of the 99 relapses podcast is that addiction is sin. And this sin is the enemy or Satan who is lurking to steal, kill, and destroy. However, the important thing to keep in mind is. You have God, you have Jesus Christ, you’re indwelt with the Holy Spirit. And you can go to God. You can ask God to help you change your destructive coping behaviors. In this episode, I’ll discuss how anger and anxiety is a response to that pain and then in upcoming episodes, I’ll dive even deeper and how to deal with and reduce that stress. From that pain through the anger, and anxiety. But to discuss anger as a response to pain. Anger from my experience of coaching and counseling clients is probably one of the most common responses to this pain, to this. Psychological pain and an angry response sometimes becomes the norm In dysfunctional families where a lot of times, no one could admit their problems or fears in those family situations. And a lot of times the anger becomes a coping mechanism with the emotional pain. And it releases. Adrenaline and endorphins. And I mentioned this as well on the structure and function of the brain earlier. And this diverts the attention from the pain, this release of these neurotransmitter chemicals. In fact, the release of adrenaline and endorphins a lot of times, especially during an angry response can and of itself be an addictive behavior and an angry response. A lot of times produces. This neurochemical response that’s similar to taking cocaine. The person who experiences this anger has to ask themselves when they’re going through this anger and rage is, does it make you feel big or small? does it make you feel right or wrong? Does it make you feel aggressive or timid? And finally, does it make you feel powerful or weak? And most people will say that anger makes them feel bad afterwards after they have this outburst but in the moment. They’ll tell you that anger itself makes them feel big, it makes them feel right. And it makes them feel strong and it makes them feel aggressive and powerful. And anger is a very powerful, physical and emotional anesthetic. In fact, like I said, it’s so powerful that when a person is really angry, they can be hit in the face and not even feel it. And that’s because of these endorphins that I had just mentioned. And a couple of Bible verses I like to share with you about anger comes from Proverbs 29:11, which reads. Fools vent their anger. But the wise quietly, hold it back. And again, remembers anger is sin. And in Proverbs 29:22. It reads an angry person, starts fights a hot tempered person, commits all kinds of sin. And because anger is sin and sin comes from the enemy, Satan, that is as found in Ephesians 4:26-27, which reads. And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry for anger, gives a foothold to the devil. And then. James 1:20, the book of James that is, human anger does not produce the righteousness. God desires. So consciously or subconsciously. You have learned over time to use these emotions such as anger to kill this pain and to avoid subconscious unwanted thoughts, feelings, and memories. So it works. As a defense mechanism to protect your ego and your pride. I’ve mentioned this in previous episodes about letting go of your pride and ego when it comes to addiction and recovery. And that’s a big obstacle and I’ll talk about that. In future episodes. There’s a lot of things that I’ll talk about. Elements of addiction, forgiveness. And I’ll even expand on it. Even anger and future episodes. But for now, we’ll just stick with anger as a part of the law of pain. Individuals who are addicted like I said, have this, that addiction to this anger as well as the drugs and that’s a bad combination whereas healthy people. Move towards their pain. And they face it courageously and responsibly. So the healthy response of course is to walk away and it’s hard again, like I said, because a lot of pride and a lot of ego Is behind that anger and angst. holding on to anger or avoiding things that need to be dealt with it takes a tremendous amount of energy. So when you have avoided problems through that flight response, Or procrastinated through that freeze response that I mentioned through the limbic system, the result a lot of times ends up becoming worry and anxiety, which potentially leads to the anger. I’m going to take a short commercial break and when i come back i’ll discuss how anxiety is a response to pain Okay, welcome back to the 99 relapses podcast. Before I took the commercial break. I talked about anger as a response to pain. In this last half of this episode, I want to cover anxiety as a response to pain. And the best way to describe anxiety as a response to pain, is, primarily the same as anger and that is anxiety can often be used as well as an anesthetic to cope with these feelings. Anxiety releases neurochemicals as well. That caused the body to speed up and avoid painful depression and serious anxiety starts as a natural response to emotional and physical pain. And in our lives anxiety can even be triggered by memories or learned responses as well. And again, those memories come from the limbic system and neocortex stores, that memory. The memory then gets transferred into the limbic system and the limbic system reacts emotionally. And that’s where you get that emotional response through anxiety. Of course. Anxiety in moderate amounts can energize and motivate us. And it’s normal for us to get anxious. For example, If we were warned, let’s say about a catastrophic weather event, like a tornado, for instance. Your body will go through all kinds of physiological changes and you’ll become more hypervigilant. And thus you’ll be prepared to cope effectively. with that tornado and with most emergencies and anxiety is a normal response for most people. Unfortunately. Chronic anxiety. especially along with an addiction creates an imbalance in brain chemistry. What ends up happening is this anxiety causes us to expend these brain chemicals, the brain chemicals that I mentioned, the neuro-transmitter chemicals that help you cope with stress and in turn. You get the opposite effect, which is a depletion of these chemicals, because you’ve. depleted them through being chronically anxious all the time, and this can lead to a lack of motivation and negative mood swings. A lot of people. Let’s say for instance, use cocaine or methamphetamine, especially methamphetamine. When they come off of methamphetamine, they’ve expended these brain chemicals so much that they crash for sometimes a week, two weeks, three weeks they’ll sleep for two or three weeks and they’ll sleep for hours and be real depressed, this long-term stress like I said, it’s followed by depression and it causes this imbalance in brain chemistry and it’s taxing again on the nervous system, the circulatory system, and even the digestive system. I talked about that in earlier episodes of the 99 relapses podcast about how addictions can wreak havoc on our physical health. In. Drugs that act as uppers or stimulants, such as cocaine or methamphetamine they magnify the stress and anxiety and they accelerate this negative effect on the body and they increase these stress hormones. A lot of times what happens with anxiety is it becomes an antidote to emotional and physical pain, just like anger does. But anxiety can also function as a diversion from other emotional pain that may be occurring in our lives. So much so that it becomes a natural and learned response. And I’ll get into that in a minute. Anxiety mask our emotional pain in two ways. Number one, it draws our attention away from what is immediately bothering us and two it as with anger, anxiety stimulates the release of these endorphins and of course this serves to temporarily ease, both that emotional and physical pain. A lot of times. But here lies the problem with anxiety. When we find anxiety has served us well in our particular situation to mask that pain, we may deliberately use it again and this imprinted habit of using anxiety to our advantage ends up becoming a learning anxiety. So it becomes like the norm and in time, anything that’s triggering these learned patterns or imprints will produce the anxiety response, and we’ll just accept it as just being a normal behavior and will allow anxiety to keep coming into our life as a natural reaction. When in fact it’s not and stress cues each of which trigger its own anxiety imprint differently. Of course, from person to person. When this does happen unresolved resentments also carry a lot of anger. So they got a lot of anger and a lot of anxiety going on at the same time and they’re fighting each other. These two. Emotions. And if you just keep, let’s say for instance, two small. Unresolved resentments. That produced this anxiety in your life each day. Think about that in a year’s time that would add up to about 730 resentments. So how many resentments do you think a person can hold inside as unresolved problems before that person relapses. Could it be 5 10. 50. 500. So you can see where this all goes when it comes to anxiety and even anger. they work with each other. In upcoming episodes, I’ll even discuss how anxiety, anger and all these emotions can potentially lead to relapse through what is called. And what I’ve learned. In the Genesis process, the F.A.S.T.E.R. Scale, which. F stands for Forgetting priorities, A Anxiety S Speeding up T ticked off. E exhausted and R Relapse and as well as how to deal with reducing the stress and anxiety, which can potentially lead to relapse. But always remember this, God is with you during these anxious times and Couldn’t be more true. Than it found in 1 Peter 5:7, which reads give all your worries and cares to God. For, he cares about you. And in Psalm 139:23, search me O God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. And then finally in Philippians 4:6. Don’t worry about anything instead. Pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the 99 relapses podcast, please join me. in future podcast. For current podcast episodes and even previous podcast episodes, episode show notes, episode memory versus as well as episode recovery lessons and tools. Go to 99 relapses.org. That’s the number 99 relapses.org. Also, if you’d like to make a prayer request for yourself, family or friend. Please do not hesitate to email me your prayer request at 99 relapses. That’s the number 99 relapses.org. And do not forget to like me on Facebook. Also, if you have an interesting story to share about how God has changed your life through addiction and recovery are an expert in the field of Christian addiction and recovery have published a Christian book, podcast, website, and would like to be featured as a guest. And the 99 relapses podcast. Please email me anytime at james@99Relapses.org. And I will respond within 24 to 48 hours. Again, thank you for joining me for this episode. and God Bless.