Numbing the pain works, temporarily. Whether we use food, or alcohol, or gambling, the binge numbs the pain for a bit.
Of course, we feel awful about ourselves after the binge, which can set off a vicious cycle of more numbing, more remorse, more numbing, more remorse.
In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, they tell the story of a serial jaywalker – a man who repeatedly crosses the street where he isn’t supposed to. At first, he just misses calamity by jumping out of the way of passing cars. Later, he gets a little dinged up and then the collisions become more frequent and more serious. But the man just can’t stop with the jaywalking, even when his injuries become more serious.
This is what numbing does for/to us. It befoggs our brain and keeps us from seeing the actual consequences of our behavior.
Numbing does not have to be as serious as an actual addiction. We may simply distract ourselves with television, texting, social media or any other mind-numbing activity.
Here’s to a day without numbing.
We might not be able to go the rest of our life without compulsive drinking, eating, drugging or whatever our numbing agent may be, but what if we just skipped it for today?