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What Does Our Inner Child Have to Do with Our Addictions?

We have certain thought patterns and emotional patterns that can contribute to our addictions because we’re turning to these patterns as coping mechanisms rather than confronting the issues fueling our addictions head on. Among these destructive patterns are our avoidance, our suppression, and our denial. What are we avoiding? What are we suppressing? What are we in denial about? For many of us, the answers lie in our wounded inner child and all of the healing and attention we have not given to this important part of ourselves.

Our inner child does not disappear once we become adults. On the contrary, it stays within us, reminding us of all the traumas and wounds we have yet to heal from. When we don’t give our inner child the care, nurturing and protection it needs, it tries to get our attention in all kinds of painful ways – debilitating addictive patterns, severe mental health issues, and total physical breakdowns. Eventually we might feel as though we’ve hit rock bottom, where our pain feels unbearable, and we can’t continue living as we are without making necessary changes for our health and well-being. Our inner child is trying to alert us to the fact that we have unresolved issues we’re still carrying within us. It is trying to point us in the direction of healing, rather than avoiding our pain, suppressing it and trying to deny it.

Our inner child has everything to do with our addictions. When we’re addicted to a substance or behavior, we’re not just dependent upon that drug or behavior, we’ve become dependent on the feelings of release, relief, distraction and escapism it provides us. We’ve grown dependent on the coping mechanisms for emotional avoidance and suppression, and often what we’re most trying to avoid and suppress is the pain of our childhoods. For many of us, our most traumatic experiences happened during our formative years. We can be shocked and paralyzed by this trauma. It affects us deeply, especially because we’re still growing and developing, still learning about ourselves and the world, and still learning how to define all of these complex issues around wellness and illness for ourselves. We often don’t understand the full ramifications of our trauma. We aren’t conscious of how much our trauma stays with us over the years. We don’t realize that our wounded inner child is still there inside of us, begging us to give it the love and care it might not have received when we were growing up, imploring us to stop trying to avoid and escape our pain but instead to sit with it, work with it, process it and move through it so that we can really heal.

The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever where you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.