I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all. What a silly thing to say! Hell to the no I don't want pain. Who in their right mind would? I hear that phrase and it blows my mind. That seems like such a bizarre concept. Well my friends, let me share a spiritual experience I had one day when I understood just what that phrase means.
I was sitting in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous one day newly back after my relapse. Keep in mind that I had 9 months of recovery before this, so I did know what being alive and actually experiencing feelings was all about. I was one or two days back, still in the mental fog of my drinking. Alcohol had fulfilled its promise-I was numb. I sat there devoid of emotions as I listened to people share in the meeting. One gentleman spoke up and shared that his dad had just recently passed away. He was heartbroken and sobbing through his share. The room was silent as he shared his pain with us. It was quite a devastating moment. Tears consumed the eyes of many people in the room. As I sat there taking this all in, I realized how jealous I was. Here was this man, grieving the loss of one of the most important people in his life and all I could do was watch with envy as he felt the strongest of emotions as I sat there empty.
I do not wish to come across insensitive or selfish. Trust me I was just as shocked as you. It was then that I realized how wonderful being alive, being sober and feeling feelings really is. So as absurd as it sounds, I suppose I would rather feel pain than nothing at all because feeling pain is part of being alive. It is part of the human experience. Now I understand when people say "My worst day sober is still better than my best day drunk." I get it. Keep in mind though, that now I am sober and truly alive for the first time, I have felt the absolute worst emotional pain that I have ever felt. BUT, I have also experienced the greatest joy I have ever felt. How sad that for most of my life I had numbed myself, unknowingly blocking myself off from what it truly means to be alive. I woke up 5 years ago. I am now alive. And I owe it all to the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I do it because it works.
I do it because I live a life of recovery.