Friday Feature: Jalisa Ray
Who Am I When Everything is Numb?
They say that it is good to be able to feel pain because it warns you that something is wrong. If the stove is hot and you accidentally put your hand or arm to it, you would want to be able to feel it or else you would be burned and not even know it. I have been through so much pain in my life it had gotten to the point where I was numb to it. The only type of pain that I was truly aware of was physical pain. When I was dealing with physical or mental pain I would ignore it or push it under the rug in order to keep moving forward in what I felt I needed to do. I stopped taking care of myself because I didn’t think I was worth it so I would give everything I had to everyone else in order to feel some type of satisfaction or like I was doing something worthwhile.
I was unaware that me building up a tolerance for pain was turning it into an addiction. I had to keep something going on in my life so that I could feel more and more pain. I recently discovered that I am a pain addict. I had just accepted that pain would be a huge part of my life whether physical, spiritual, or mental. If life became painless or I was able to tolerate the current level of pain I would do something in order to cause myself pain in order for me to at least feel something. I had been sexually abused, raped more than once, heart broken time and time again, failed, disappointed, used, discarded, sick, and so much more. Most of which I had brought on myself. Most times God, my mother, or someone else told me not to do something but I did it anyway. It took me until about a week ago to really see my addiction for what it was. I had beaten addictions to sex, weed, alcohol, and attention but this one still remained. I came to realize this from a 21 day self-discipline challenge I decided to do by a woman named Courtney Sanders. I realized that I had an issue with self-discipline from hearing her speak about it which then made me want to take the challenge. The second day of this challenge I was asked to do an exercise where I was to write down the pain I was dealing with in the 8 different areas of my life i.e. career, health, finances, etc. When I got done each section had 5-7 things in them.
So think about it 5-7 multiplies by 8 is 40-56 things that were causing me pain in my life at that moment. It hit me like a ton of bricks once I finished. I had asked God prior to this to show me, me. This exercise did that and I did not like it at all. Another thing that made me realize that I was addicted to pain is that when I would experience something painful my first response would not be something to decrease or deal with the pain it was something that would cause me more pain. I would do things like call a guy I know was no good for me, eat something that was no good for me, spend hours on social media instead of doing schoolwork or building my business. All of these things would in turn cause me more pain and I would continue the cycle.
Once I finally made the decision to walk into my call to ministry and start my Minister in Training process not only did the pain I caused myself increase but the pain in my families life, the pain in my my relationships with others, at work, with my finances, with my schoolwork, and just about every other area in my life increase due to the attacks of the enemy. I know this is his way of trying to get me to give up on my calling and my purpose but in spite of the pain I will not give up and I will not quit. I always have to remind myself that the pain I experience is only temporary, if it was meant to kill me I would have been dead a long time ago, and that God will get the glory out of it somehow. I am still doing a lot for other people but now I am intentional about dealing with my pain instead of dodging it and doing things in order to take care of myself. I make time to spend time with God, read, write in my journal, take my supplements, drink plenty or water, get adequate amounts of sleep, go out and have fun, and be open to the new and exciting things that will happen in my life since I have let go of the pain and am moving toward a life of healing and wholeness. In life we should always be in a state of self-discovery, learning, and growing. As soon as you think that you’ve arrived the sooner you will hit rock bottom. There will be pain but it is a sign that something is wrong and it should motivate you to do something different not just deal with it.