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Discovering The Underlying Unhealed Issues Fueling Our Addictions

As we solidify our recovery program, a great deal of the mental and emotional work we want to do revolves around exploring the underlying issues that have been fueling, perpetuating and exacerbating our addictions and mental health issues. We often focus more on the immediate symptoms we’re experiencing, the relapses in our addictive cycles and depressive episodes, the anxiety and panic attacks. We have to expend a tremendous amount of time and energy just dealing with the day-to-day logistics of surviving with addiction. We don’t always think to unpack the layers and explore what’s going on underneath it all. If we don’t work to figure out what our unhealed issues are, we might always be in danger of relapsing. We might continue to turn to our drugs of choice, suffer from depression, and stay locked in recurring cycles of self-destructiveness and self-hatred.

What does my drug of choice distract me from thinking about? This is one of the major questions we can ask ourselves when we’re trying to discover what exactly our unhealed issues are. For many of us, we’re not sure what has been causing our pain. We may have suppressed years of traumatic experiences and blocked out the memories of entire parts of our lives. Many of us are still dealing with subconscious fears we’re not yet aware of. We might not have connected the dots between all the problems we’re experiencing in our everyday lives with the unconscious pain that is driving us, our behaviors, our choices, our thoughts, and feelings. What am I drinking or using to escape from? What am I avoiding dealing with? Are there particular traumatic experiences, relationships or triggering situations that bother me the most, that I try to avoid at all costs? What is being triggered within me? Why does this hurt so much? What do I need to heal, and how can I work to heal myself?

One of the major reasons why we haven’t yet healed our deeply rooted pain is that we’re afraid to. We’re afraid to face the debilitating emotions that come when we confront our pain – the grief, the fear, the shame, and anger. We’re afraid to deal with the old problems that might surface, that we’ve been trying to forget or have been hoping will just go away if we don’t do anything about them. We’ve been avoiding them for so long, we’re afraid of what will happen when we finally face them, and sometimes our avoidance has caused us to be completely unconscious of our issues. The pain from trauma that gets stored in our subconscious minds informs everything we do moving forward, how we think and feel, how we operate, what choices we make, how we live our lives. When we haven’t healed our pain, we’re essentially living lives consumed by that pain and all the other forms of pain we’re manifesting and attracting to us. When we’re paralyzed by fear, we attract lessons and tests to help us conquer that fear, and until we do, we’ll experience more things that reflect that fear, to push, move and challenge us to take action towards healing. The more we stall on our healing and refuse to do the work, the more we become consumed by the issues fueling our addictions and mental illnesses, the more they wreak havoc and destruction on our lives and make us deeply unhappy.

When you smoke, drink or use drugs, binge on food, sex, or when you go on a manic gambling binge, what are you most avoiding thinking about, facing and dealing with? What troublesome thoughts are you drowning out? What are you trying to forget? What is causing you to seek relief, comfort, solace, and distraction? What painful feelings are being soothed, albeit temporarily? Asking ourselves these questions can lead us directly to whatever needs to be healed within us. We might discover that we drink to calm our anxiety about our relationship. We might use unhealthy relationships to distract ourselves from our low self-esteem and how badly we feel about ourselves. We might gamble compulsively to escape thinking about just how bad our financial problems have become. If we can begin to be mindful of our thoughts and emotions and what we’re using our drugs of choice for, we can deepen our healing work. We can start to reclaim our power from the addictive patterns driving our lives, and we can make fundamental, transformative changes in our habits and lifestyles. We can find healthy replacement coping skills, such as meditation, writing, energy healing, counseling, self-care, and spiritual practice. We can begin to see where we’ve been driven by fear and self-hatred and begin to infuse more self-love into our lives. We can begin to have acceptance for our pain rather than always trying to resist it. We can start to transform ourselves from the inside out because now we’re facing ourselves and our challenges head-on. We’re not avoiding, running, escaping, or resisting. We’re not burying and suppressing. We’re getting to the root of our pain and working to analyze the many layers of it in order to examine just how it’s been impacting our lives and keeping us sick.

It takes courage to even want to face our painful issues, let alone to do the difficult work of self-examination and introspection that it requires. We’ll want to call on all the support systems we can, our treatment center staff, our therapists and spiritual guides, recovery coaches, mentors, sponsors, loved ones and friends. We’ll want to stop isolating ourselves out of shame and fear. We’ll want to let people in and open our hearts to healing and transformation. True recovery means not only working to get sober but also examining all of our deeply rooted pain so that we can actually stay sober and live a life we’re happy with.

The Guest House focuses on guiding you as you discover the underlying causes of your actions and behaviors, and the outcome of this mission is to reduce and reverse any harm that your self-defeating habits have caused. Whether the effects have been mental, physical or both, we know that it’s possible for you to regain your strength and replace these damaging habits with healthy ones. Call us today 855-483-7800 at for more information.