incredible-marketing Arrow

One of the things we find ourselves trying to work out for ourselves in recovery is why we used our drugs of choice so excessively and in such dangerous amounts, risking overdose and serious harm, and putting our lives at risk. We’ve mixed different drugs in huge quantities, not knowing what the potential drug interactions between them might be. We’ve taken whole bottles of pills. We’ve drunk until we blacked out. Excessive use is something that can be hard to understand, especially when we’re in recovery and feeling stronger in our sobriety. Why would we have put ourselves in harm’s way like that? What was going on for us internally that we weren’t more self-protective?


While we’re still actively using, it’s hard to look at our behaviors and choices objectively. We’re not thinking clearly when we’re always under the influence. Our judgment has been compromised and our decision-making abilities have been impaired. We often don’t feel we’re being true to ourselves. When we’re in this place, we do many things we don’t understand. We make choices that seem totally irrational. We behave in ways that later feel unfamiliar and unrecognizable to us, and when we look back on our experiences, we can’t believe we did some of the things we did and made some of the choices we made. Because we’re not thinking clearly, we often make quick, impulsive decisions. We do things rashly and spontaneously. We fall into patterns of behaving compulsively. We aren’t being mindful, and we aren’t thinking things through carefully. When we use excessively, it’s often because we’re impulsively responding to a triggering emotion, and we’ve decided, in our impaired state, that using excessively is the solution to that emotion. 

Shame and a Lack of Self-Forgiveness

Which emotions are triggering us when we use excessively? For many of us, when we overdose it’s because we’re filled with deep feelings of shame, unworthiness, and self-hatred. We might not be consciously suicidal, but subconsciously we don’t think we deserve to be happy, let alone to be alive. We believe our mistakes make us unlovable, unforgivable, and unredeemable. We assume others won’t forgive us, because we aren’t able to forgive ourselves. We still haven’t made peace with the mistakes we’ve made and wrongdoings we’ve committed. We tell ourselves we’re worthless and pitiful. We’re deeply self-hating. All we can think about are our debilitating feelings of shamefulness, inadequacy, and self-hatred. 

Suicidal Patterns

Sometimes our excessive use is part of our suicidal patterns, and we’re consciously deciding to end our lives because we can’t sustain our emotional pain any longer. We want a permanent escape from our pain, and we’ve come to the conclusion that suicide is the answer. Because we’re inebriated, and because we’re suffering so much emotionally, we’re often not looking at our lives clearly. We become so overwhelmed by our emotions that we assume taking our own lives is the only way to no longer have to be afflicted by them. We might be struggling with mental and emotional health challenges like depression and anxiety that compound the pain we feel around our addictions.

Emotional Escapism

When we use excessively but aren’t necessarily suicidal, sometimes we’re still seeking a means of escapism but not a permanent ending to our lives. We’re desperate not to think about our painful thoughts and feelings, so we use too much of our drug of choice, or any combination of dangerous substances, in order to numb ourselves, to escape our pain, and to forget. We haven’t learned healthy ways to manage our difficult thoughts and emotions. We haven’t developed healthy coping skills. Our addictive patterns often prevent us from doing the work required to figure out how to manage our emotions. Our capacity for emotional management is severely impaired by our addictions. Frequently being under the influence keeps us from being able to connect with ourselves and do the healing work we need to do. 


Using drugs in dangerous quantities and combinations is not a conscious choice but a subconscious response to how self-destructive we’ve become. We might be self-harming in other ways like staying in abusive relationships or causing ourselves physical pain. We might be sabotaging our recovery by engaging with toxic people and making unhealthy choices. Where does this self-destructiveness come from? It’s often tied into these other issues that are fueling our addictive patterns – our shame and feelings of unworthiness, our suicidal thoughts, and our inability, or unwillingness, to face our emotions. We’re self-destructive because we hate and reject ourselves. We don’t think our lives are of value. We don’t believe we’re strong enough to handle our emotions. We have such a low opinion of ourselves that we become self-destructive and make dangerous risky choices. 

Understanding why we’ve used excessively can help to heal some of the emotional patterns that fueled our harmful choices and our addiction so that we can empower ourselves to keep ourselves sober and stay aligned with our recovery.

At The Guest House Ocala, our experience with addiction and recovery makes us uniquely equipped to be able to understand the struggles you’re experiencing.

We’re here to help.

Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.

3230 Northeast 55th Avenue Silver Springs, FL 34488