Suffering is an unfortunate but unavoidable part of life. Navigating difficult times can be burdensome and may have you feeling as if there is no light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel. However, it is essential to remember that hard times are temporary, and with time things are bound to improve. Have you heard the phrase, “It can only go up from here?” While cliche, as this phrase suggests, hard times are usually followed by better times.
What Is Suffering?
Suffering is defined as the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship. As the definition suggests, suffering is a state or phase of feeling certain emotions, implying a temporary experience. Suffering is something we all endure at some point in our lives – some more than others.
Hardships and distress may come as a consequence of your actions. In other words, suffering can sometimes be predictable. Alternatively, pain and suffering may be completely unexpected and come as a result of a sudden occurrence. Whether you see the hard times coming or are taken by surprise, suffering is tough and can be very isolating if you allow it to be.
Coping With Suffering
Since suffering is an inevitable part of life, it is important to implement effective strategies for coping with difficult times.
The first step is to acknowledge and sit with your emotions. Becoming aware of how you feel without self-judging is key. Own and accept your feelings, and most importantly, keep in mind that you will not feel this way forever. However, tuning in to your feelings can be challenging. Pride, denial, and daily-life distractions can make introspective thinking tricky. In times of pain and suffering, choosing to acknowledge and understand your emotions is critical to healing and moving forward.
Journaling can be an excellent strategy for coping with negative thoughts and feelings. Writing down your emotions can be very validating and forces you to be honest with yourself about the way you feel.
Remember This Is Temporary
Remembering that suffering is not everlasting can sometimes be the only ticket to making it through. In the midst of suffering, it can be challenging to see any positive or have a glimpse of hope that things will turn around. The truth is, suffering and hardships can sometimes result in enlightenment or vast personal growth.
Resilience stems from our ability to overcome difficult times and is a skill we cannot acquire or strengthen without practice. With every battle faced comes increased wisdom, resiliency, and appreciation of your life and those around you.
You Are Not Alone
Despite how isolating difficult times can be, you are not alone in your suffering. Difficult times can often lead us to shut down or dismiss others’ attempts to support or console us. While it can be beneficial to take some time alone to process hardships, it is critical to allow for external encouragement.
Comfort From a Support Network
Accepting help from others when you are suffering can be challenging. However, receiving counsel from others who may have endured similar situations can be comforting. For example, if you are suffering as a result of addiction, allowing for others who can empathize with you and provide guidance based on first-hand experience is invaluable. Regardless of the cause of your pain, having and embracing your support network can help ease the pain and feelings of isolation during times of suffering.
Comfort From God or a Higher Power
In addition, focusing on your relationship with God or a Higher Power can be beneficial. Spending time in prayer or connecting with your Higher Power can instill hope and remind you that you are not fighting your battles alone. Ask for comfort, strength, and guidance during this difficult time. Have faith and feel confident knowing that God or a Higher Power sees your suffering and has not left you to fall. There is a purpose behind the pain, and it is a necessary part of the greater plan for your life.
Hope in Suffering
While time can seem to slow down or even stand still in times of suffering, we must keep in mind that better times are ahead. These feelings of distress, while consuming now, with time, will ease. Find hope in the promise that suffering is not in vain. There is a reason for hardships that may not be apparent in the midst of the madness. Have faith. You will come to realize the “why,” and you will overcome your suffering with newfound strength and wisdom.
Suffering is perhaps one of the most challenging components of life. When you are in a time of distress or suffering, it is easy to become hopeless and feel as if the pain will last forever. Remember that suffering is temporary, and there are brighter days ahead. Feel encouraged by the truth that you can and will overcome your battles and grow due to the experience. If you are suffering because of alcohol or drug addiction, you do not have to fight alone. At Renaissance Ranch, we will provide you with the support and tools you need to end your suffering and find hope in your new journey to recovery. Let us help you pick up the pieces and shift your focus to what your life can be without suffering from drug or alcohol abuse. If you or someone you love is battling addiction, call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898 to learn more about our addiction treatment program.