How to feel normal after narcotics
Narcotics can change your life in unexpected ways. Whether you are using narcotics with a prescription or without, how can you move beyond addiction? How do people become addicted? Also, what scientific suggestions can really help improve your life? We review here and invite your questions about being addicted to narcotics at the end.
Was There Life Before Narcotics?
“Mo-ommm, can you fix me something to eat?” I remember yelling those words frequently as a child.
“Mo-ommm, can you find me somebody to play with?” — also a frequent request, as I was an only child.
“Mo-ommm, can you get me my pills?”
I never remember asking that question. Why? It was never a need or desire. Other than the normal needs of a child, I was pretty content. I’m sure my mom wanted to change her name a few times though.
So What Happened?
Grand-mal seizures. Broken Bones. Surgery. Addiction. The normal, God-given brain I was born with had become altered.
Addiction to narcotics physically changes the brain in two ways—for a more complete explanation you may refer to this article: “Are opiates addictive?”
- First, the number of pain receptors multiplies and the need for narcotics multiplies with them. The pain that was once controlled by one pill may now take two or three…or twelve.
- Second, when we take narcotics, our brain stops making endorphins, our natural pain reliever.
In the midst of addiction, it’s impossible to see life without pills. Your brain is so chemically altered you can’t see how survival is possible without them. Indeed, brain circuits change with drug use. Any thought process you may have is under the shadow of that almighty pill. “How was I ever normal without them?” was often my thought.
Can I Ever Be Normal Again?
Absolutely. But not without some hard work. Anything worthwhile requires hard work. You may have to climb the Empire State Building, but you only have to do it one step at a time.
“It’s not rocket science,” my doctor said. It comforted me to know that overcoming addiction was possible, although withdrawal headaches often felt like a rocket shooting right through my brain.
What steps can I take to feel normal without narcotics?
Physically, the brain needs to slowly return to normal. It does take some time, and I highly recommend seeing a physician who can prescribe Suboxone to help through this brain healing time. But there are scientifically proven activities you can do on your own to help those natural endorphins begin production again. I’ve provided a link to more information I’ve researched on each of the following points:
1. Get outside and get some sunshine. Bright colors like yellow reflect more light and stimulate the eyes, therefore giving a boost to the “happy” chemicals in the brain. And it just so happens that God made the sun yellow. “Choosing to See Truth”
2. Interact with others. Acts of kindness to others has an amazing effect on the chemicals in your brain, and it makes someone else happy in the process.
3. Give or receive positive touch. Giving somebody a needed hug will boost your endorphins…and theirs too! “The Power of Touch”
4. Look into music therapy. Listen to uplifting music at home and in your car. When I’m doing dreaded housework, music never fails to boost my mood and energy.
5. Surround yourself with good scents. Studies have shown a strong correlation between what you smell and how you feel. “When Life Gives You Lemons, Sniff Them”
6. Get moving. Nothing works to increase those endorphin levels like cardiovascular exercise. You may have heard of the runner’s high. It’s the real deal. When I first start a run (before my muscles begin screaming at me), I can actually feel those endorphins kicking in—like I’ve taken a narcotic. It’s that strong. Running is a fantastic exercise for your heart and your brain, but if it’s new to you, take it slow and find a good program to get you started.
Have you noticed that all of these suggestions involve the senses God gave us? Smell, touch, sight, hearing…the only one I didn’t cover was taste. Comfort food plays a roll in the brain as well, but replacing a drug addiction with a food addiction or any other addiction will not give you the results you desire.
Here’s the point: God created your brain perfectly—in His image. If you believe in a God that created the universe, believe He can heal you as well. You must remember, though, that God is always teaching and shaping us into who He wants us to be. God delivered me from addiction, but it took seven years. It didn’t take God seven years; it took me seven years to learn what he was trying to teach me.
When I finally got it, my brain was restored. Pills are no longer first on my mind when I wake in the morning. I intentionally engage the senses God gave me to keep my brain receiving all that He created for me. Seek God with your whole heart; use the resources God gave you. Thank Him every step of the way, and you can be restored too.
“Mo-ommm, can you babysit this weekend?” She still probably wants to change her name.
Now that I have kids, I can relate.