Alternatives to self-medicating with morphine (and other chemicals)

Why do we self-medicate with medicines like morphine? And how can we move beyond this coping mechanism? Explore more here.

minute read

Morphine – Finding Fulfillment over Satisfaction

Recently, while taking just a few moments to watch a little TV with my wife Karen, we stumbled across a program called, “Heroin”. We were very surprised to learn that long before it ever became the heroin of today, it was a pleasant flower of the field. Then, King Alexander the Great used it and refined the poppy flowers ASAP. From a flower came the creation of a painkiller.

Since then, the once beautiful flower has spent much of its time being refined into a painkiller known as morphine. Morphine was so readily available in that era that it was injected into many of the common households cough medicines, or used for other tinctures. And its use has carried over into modern life.

After the program, Karen and I got into a conversation about the past wounds and the former needs of our life. It seems that self-medication can hit us all. It manifests as various ways to cope with life. For me, it may have been toxic relationships. Self-medication can take on a different flavor for others: drugs, alcohol, shopping, sex.

1. Where does the need to self-medicate come from?

Self-medication, for me, came from a need to control my inner self. If we focus on other things, we don’t have to focus on ourselves. It’s easier to mask what we need to work on most by taking our eyes off our inner being. But when we are focusing on an immediate redirection of our attention, we move from true long-term fulfillment short-term satisfaction. The issue I always ran into with satisfaction is it creates long-term problems because the issue of self-evaluation and healing has not yet been solved.

2. Can beautiful things in our lives become dangerous, especially in excess?

Many of my toxic relationships became much like morphine to me; each dose becomes more toxic than the first. Each relationship left me desiring what I wanted most. I wanted the faithful relationship one with whom I could share my life with. However, I was not the person I needed to be to attract another whole person. I was not yet whole. I have learned that only a whole person can attract and love another whole person.

Morphine is highly addictive: both physically and psychologically. However, anything in excess taints “what could be” with “what was” in our life.

3. What is the pain in our lives?

What is morphine used for? Pain relief! It seems the unresolved pains, heart breaks, and trials in our lives lead us to poor outcomes for our future. To create a new future, choose to do things differently. However, you will first need to identify the pains that are causing you to self-medicate.

4. Why do we seek anything in life?

I believe what we seek in life comes from what we think about most. Our passions are hidden in our creativity. There is something in each of our lives that cause us to teach and reach a new level of life. If your thoughts are toxic, you will seek the toxic. If our thoughts are of understanding ourselves, then we will one day understand exactly who we were created to be.

How to move past self-medication

1. Make a list of the past pains. Who hurt us? How do we hurt? What does it feel like? Who do we need to forgive? What do we seek? What is it our heart hurts from most? Identifying these items teaches us where to begin our healing work.

2. Make a list of your top five passions and see if any of them talk to each other. For me, it’s “serve, heal, inspire, and encourage”. This realization only came by walking through the muck. The muck is the past, and the past is where death is. Life is only found in the future.

3. Seek first fulfillment, and do the work. Fulfillment is the fulfilling of one’s heart which is why it brings a long lasting joy and peace that surpasses understanding. Let’s be honest: are we seeking fulfillment over satisfaction or vice versa? True fulfillment breeds joy; it is not short lived but requires a walk through the muck. True muck comes from our mistakes, guilt, shame, and inability to forgive. When we first forgive ourselves of our mistakes, guilt, and shame, we can then offer forgiveness to others.

When you can live from your true self, a realization occurs that we are capable of more than we ever thought.  We can move away from the morphine’s of our lives if we can just move away from the quick burst of the pain-killing satisfaction and sacrifice through the pain to true fulfillment.

In your service,
Stephen Scoggins
About the author
Stephen travels throughout the country teaching faith and self-understanding. His goal is to empower others to use the bricks of past failures to build a new foundation for success, reigniting a passion for life and purpose to make large steps toward a bright future. Find out more about Stephen and the Journey Principles Institute here.
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