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How Is Addiction a form of Self-Harm?

Addiction is a form of self-destruction that, just like self-harm, feeds off of our mental and emotional health issues, our unresolved pain, and our self-hate and insecurity. Many of us who identify as addicts also self-harm in one way or another, by cutting or hitting ourselves, risking our safety by engaging in dangerous behaviors, or developing obsessive and compulsive patterns that cause us a great deal of pain. At the root of our issues is often a lack of self-love. When we don’t love and respect ourselves, we’re much more likely to fall into the mental and emotional patterns that fuel both self-harm and addiction. Our addictions are themselves a form of self-harm because we are literally harming ourselves with our dependence on an addictive substance or behavior.

For many of us, our addictions are rooted in subconscious beliefs we’re carrying about ourselves. We believe we’re inadequate and unworthy, so we develop default coping mechanisms that reflect these deeply rooted insecurities, such as choosing friends and partners who don’t value and respect us. We use our drugs of choice to try to make ourselves feel better but then only end up feeling even worse about ourselves. One of our damaging, self-harming limiting beliefs is that we don’t deserve our own self-love. We don’t believe in ourselves. We feel hopeless and defeated. We’re not giving ourselves the internal support, the motivation and encouragement, or the love and acceptance, that we need. We start to believe that self-abandonment is how to best cope with our pain. In abandoning ourselves, we’re avoiding thinking about the things that are most difficult for us. We’re distracting ourselves from the pain we feel.

We self-harm and self-abandon in all kinds of ways, by staying with abusive partners, by sabotaging our progress, by sacrificing our goals. We self-harm ourselves with our addictive behaviors and relationships. We self-harm and abandon ourselves by giving up on ourselves, rejecting ourselves, and turning away from ourselves. Our subconscious self-abandonment becomes a powerful force in our lives, directing our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actions, choices, and intentions – essentially everything in our lives becomes a reflection of our self-abandonment. Our addictions become some of the most debilitating and painful manifestations of our self-harm, self-abandonment and self-rejection.

To heal from our addictions, we have to address why we feel so compulsively inclined to self-harm, why we’re self-abandoning and hurting ourselves in the ways we think, feel and behave, in the way we’re living. The most powerful antidote for self-harm is self-love, so cultivating our love and appreciation for ourselves is one of the most important elements of working towards recovery.

Are you ready to take the first step on your journey to recovery? Call The Guest House today! 855-483-7800.