Ajit Kumar Bishnoi talks about how our bodies are used to painkillers and we have started developing a tolerance even towards the medicines. The only solution is to develop a tolerance towards the pain.
Modern man is not prepared tolerate anything. Any pain or discomfort in any part of the body and he looks for a painkiller or some such substance. Doctors are of no help; they are prepared to prescribe painkillers readily. In any case, one does not need doctor’s prescription for many painkillers.
Such intolerance has given rise to the opioid menace in a developed country like the USA. Every day, more than 115 persons die because of overdosing on opioids. America is hurting due to opioid overdose and addiction crisis. These are a class of drugs that include illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and pain relievers available legally by prescription. There are meant to be given for giving relief in ‘chronic pains’. But, who decides the severity of such pains? Mostly, the patient does. There is no such thing as a pain meter like a thermometer. A doctor has to go by what the patient says. And for an intolerant modern man, anything is too much. Due to this intolerant attitude, people are getting badly addicted to these medicines. One adds to one’s misery, ie another problem gets added to the original one of chronic or whatever pain.
Painkillers, sleeping pills, anxiety drugs, etc are meant for use in emergencies, not in a routine way. One can understand if a sleeping pill is given to a patient who is unable to sleep due to considerable physical pain or mental agony. Anxiety drug is similarly meant for relief in traumas, and is not meant for regular use. The modern man is not making efforts to solve underlying problems, which cause these conditions. That is too much effort because one has to deal with one’s faulty nature. Pharmaceutical companies are promoting their products even by falsely claiming results which are inflated while at the same time not making the public aware of likely serious side effects of long-term use of such drugs.
What should one do to safeguard oneself? There is one sure way, and that is to increase one’s pain threshold. It is not being recommended to try to emulate Srinivasa Ramanujan — the mathematician, who went through a surgery on his leg without the use of local anaesthesia. He just engaged himself in thinking about a math problem he was trying to solve. What is being suggested is something quite practical, which a common man can manage?
The first step is to seek guidance from God about the cause of the pain, discomfort, etc. Because this takes out the mental part from the equation. In many cases, the physical pain is enhanced manifold by the fear factor. God’s guidance, which is available, cuts down the anxiety part. Simultaneously, one can pray to God for strength to bear whatever one is forced to tolerate. This is also the time to remind oneself that whatever one is stuck with is wholly and solely due to one’s past acts. No one else is to blame for it; others could be mediums only. Then, the Gita tells us that all miseries like pleasures come and go; they are temporary. And no one escapes suffering in this impermanent place of miseries.
Then, one will be wise to use non-invasive solutions like painkillers ointments, ice packs, hot water bottles, etc. One can also try to divert attention by getting engaged in some actively to take the attention away. In short, one must learn to coexist with pain, which is an internal part of the human existence. These are of two kinds. One is taking pains like doing exercises and the other is to be stuck with pain otherwise. Working on increasing the pain threshold is also one such exercise.
It does not take too long to practice tolerance; it mainly requires change in attitude. That I am not different from anyone else; I must also tolerate my share like everyone. Such practice makes one courageous — an essential quality for living a quality life. Refusal to tolerate is fraught with severe consequences as the opioid menace is pointing to.
Bishnoi is a spiritual writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Ajit Kumar Bishnoi
Courtesy: The Pioneer