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Self-Rejection and the Development of Our Addictions

Recovering from addiction causes us to take a hard look at how we view ourselves, the self-image we create for ourselves, how we treat ourselves, our self-talk and our self-perception. As addicts, we often are grappling with very low self-esteem, a lack of confidence and faith in ourselves, and a depleted sense of self-worth. We speak and think about ourselves in very disparaging terms, beating ourselves up for our mistakes, refusing to forgive ourselves, and being excessively impatient with ourselves and hard on ourselves. We aren’t understanding or compassionate with ourselves, especially when we need it most. We reject ourselves and look down on ourselves. We’re self-hating and insecure. We reject the part of ourselves that we think are wrong, that we view as shameful, immoral, bad and unacceptable – our difficult emotions, our sadness, our regret from mistakes we’ve made, the fears we feel, and the shame we carry from our wrongdoings. When we reject ourselves, when we aren’t self-loving and self-accepting, many of us turn to drugs, alcohol and addictive behaviors to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. When we’re high, we feel a temporary boost in our confidence. For the moment we feel as though we have healthy self-esteem. We don’t hate ourselves as much. These feelings are fleeting, though, and they’re quickly replaced by the pervasive sense of self-rejection we’ve been developing throughout our lives.

Our addictions aren’t usually the cause of our self-rejection. Many of us were self-hating long before our addictions developed, and our self-rejection played a major role in their development. We drink and use drugs, gamble excessively and have unhealthy relationships, to distract ourselves from how painful it feels to hate ourselves. We’re trying to escape the pain of our insecurity, self-hate and lack of self-worth. Then as our addictions grow and worsen, we feel even worse about ourselves. We feel ashamed of ourselves for being addicts, for the mistakes we make as a result of our addictions, for all the ways in which we’ve hurt people. We hate ourselves for what we’re doing to our loved ones, we reject ourselves rather than forgiving ourselves, and we dwell on everything we’ve done wrong in the past rather than looking to the future and trying to improve and develop ourselves as we move forward.

Our self-rejection is one of the first things we have to examine and heal when we’re recovering from addiction. If we don’t, we’ll continue to be susceptible to the strong feelings of self-hate that are driving our addictive compulsions and toxic, self-destructive patterns.

At The Guest House Ocala, we have personal recovery experience and over 12 years in the recovery industry. We have helped countless people recover, and we’re here to help you too. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.