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Trauma History and AddictionWhen we are working to heal from addiction, we want to look at our history as we are examining our current circumstances, difficulties and dependencies. Our recovery teaches us that our history is in fact a huge contributing factor to the challenges we’re experiencing now. This is especially true when we have a history of trauma. Many of us struggling with addiction and mental health issues suffered some form of trauma in our lives, and for many of us, it occurred during childhood, during the formative years when our mental, emotional and psychological patterns were still being formed. We might have been neglected, mistreated or abused. We may have witnessed abuse. We may have sustained a profound loss and are still reeling from the grief. Our trauma may have come at the hands of a family member, partner or stranger. Trauma looks different, and operates differently, for everyone. Our experiences with trauma are subjective and can be as varied and unique as we are. In addition, how we respond to our trauma is unique to who we are as individuals.

Very often we haven’t developed the tools necessary to heal from our trauma, and we use misguided and self-destructive coping mechanisms to try and escape our pain. Trauma doesn’t necessarily lead to addiction. There are many people who identify as having experienced trauma who do not struggle with addiction. The development of our addictions has a lot to do with how we process our trauma history, how we navigate the difficult thoughts and feelings that come with it, and whether we express or suppress our pain. Our trauma history can have a causal relationship with our addictions, and although many of us can’t pinpoint just one specific cause of our addictions, we can clearly see the role our trauma has played in the development of our unhealthy coping mechanisms and dependence issues.

When we’re trying to relieve the pain of our trauma, we often will turn to substances and behaviors that help to distract us, that provide us with feelings of escape, comfort and solace. We self-medicate and become dependent upon unhealthy ways of numbing our pain. We suppress the memories of our trauma and block them out, sometimes forgetting them altogether until they come flooding back to us later on, forcing us to confront the history of our trauma in order to heal.

Whether or not we’re able to recover from our addictions has a lot to do with how we process our trauma, whether we work with it, or avoid it and resist it. Do we allow it to define us, or do we let it fuel our healing?

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.