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Healing Our Disconnection in Recovery

Addiction can be attributed to many different contributing factors, with one of the greatest among them being our disconnection, our disconnection from other people, from our higher power, and from ourselves. Our battles with addiction cause us to sever our mental and emotional connectedness with our own intuition, our internal guidance system. We don’t listen to or follow our instincts. We don’t believe in ourselves. We’ve lost faith in ourselves, so much so that we feel empty, lost and hopeless. These emotions mirror the symptoms of depression, and we often grapple with mental health issues alongside our addictions, in what are called co-occurring disorders. Our disconnection from self can increase our feelings of sadness and anxiety, defeat and despair. Where does this disconnection come from?

Feeling disconnected from ourselves can result from various issues, one of them being the deep shame we feel. Our shame can come from our addictive patterns, from how bad we feel for being addicts, from all the mistakes, wrongdoings and regrets we’ve accumulated due to our addictions. Our shame may also have been present long before our addictions set in, becoming one of the main emotional contributing factors to our addictions in the first place. We develop deep feelings of shame from more than just the things we feel we’ve done wrong. We also feel ashamed because of our traumatic experiences. We internalize them and believe them to be evidence of our unworthiness. We feel inadequate and inferior to other people because of the traumas we’ve sustained. We think that the horrible things that have happened to us mean something is inherently wrong with us.

When we feel a deep sense of shame, a part of us shuts down. We suppress our difficult thoughts and feelings. We block out painful memories. We refuse to talk about what we’ve been through, using silence, avoidance and denial as our default coping mechanisms. We might think we’re moving on with our lives and moving past the trauma. We might think we’ve buried it down deep enough within ourselves that no one else will discover it. We hope we’ll be able to just forget about it. Our shame stays with us, though, long after the trauma. It lingers and festers within us, causing us tremendous distress and disconnection.

Our instinct is to reject the parts of ourselves we’re uncomfortable with, especially our shame. We want to disconnect from them. We feel so bad about ourselves, so down on ourselves, that we become self-rejecting. We feel the weight of our deep insecurities. We don’t confront our feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and inferiority. We don’t ask ourselves why we feel so unworthy. We don’t question our feelings of inadequacy. We take them on as if they’re true, self-identifying with them, allowing our sense of self to revolve around them. We reinforce the limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves by thinking recurring, damaging thoughts about ourselves, speaking ill of ourselves, and making unhealthy choices. We continue on with our patterns of self-destruction and self-deprecation, our addictions being among the most detrimental and debilitating. We choose toxic relationships. We don’t get help for our addictions or mental health issues. We deepen our internal disconnection. We stop loving and accepting ourselves.

When we feel disconnected from ourselves, we can feel like we don’t recognize ourselves. Our destructive choices make us feel ashamed, embarrassed and disappointed in ourselves, especially those related to our addictive patterns. We feel like we don’t know who we are anymore. We can feel like the things we’re doing, the things that are happening to us, are happening to another person entirely. We feel lost and alone. We compound these feelings by isolating ourselves from other people. We’re afraid of their rejection and judgment. We’re afraid they’ll try to convince us to get help. We’re afraid they’ll take away our drugs of choice and make it harder for us to get high. This self-isolating makes us feel that much more disconnected from the people in our lives, people who love and care about us, who could potentially support us in making the changes we need to make.

We’ve become so internally disconnected that we prioritize our addictive substances and behaviors over our own internal well-being. We sacrifice the health of our minds, our emotions, and our bodies. We shut off our instincts and stop heeding their instructions completely. We know something is bad for us, for example, but we do it anyway. We know a relationship is abusive, but we stay. We know a drug is killing us, but we buy more. The voice of our intuition becomes less and less clear. It becomes harder to hear. It gets muddled and buried under layers of toxic noise, distraction and mental clutter. We don’t know where our inner voice ends and the voice of our subconscious fears and inner demons begins. We feel as though we can no longer trust ourselves. We can’t trust what our minds or our feelings are telling us because we’ve become so disconnected from our truth.

Healing our disconnection in recovery entails prioritizing sobriety so that we can clear away all the turmoil that has accumulated within us and blocked our inner voice. It also entails actively working to find ways to reconnect with ourselves, spending quality time with ourselves, learning how to embrace our solitude and enjoy being alone with ourselves, without distraction, filter, avoidance, or escape. It means rebuilding our self-esteem and re-learning our self-worth. Reconnecting with ourselves is developing our unconditional self-love and self-acceptance. It’s asking ourselves the tough, important questions: “What do I want out of life? What is my purpose? What makes me feel fulfilled? How can I serve? How can I be good to myself? How can I become the truest, most authentic, most elevated version of myself? Who am I?”

The Guest House Ocala provides unparalleled, premier-quality treatment to those who suffer from self-defeating behaviors brought on by trauma and its underlying issues. We are uniquely equipped to help our guests heal from trauma-induced substance abuse, process addiction, anxiety or depression in a safe, comfortable and confidential setting. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.