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What Does Self-Destructiveness Have to Do with Addiction?

If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

We tend to think of our addictions as the behaviors we engage in and the substances we become dependent upon, both of which are actually the surface symptoms of deeper underlying issues and not the root of the addictive problem itself. We’re contending with subconscious psychological factors that fuel the things we experience in our daily lives, but we often aren’t aware of these things. In recovery we focus on abstinence, eliminating the problematic drug or behavior of choice from our lives, but we sometimes fail to address all of the mental and emotional issues that are at play, that are fueling the choices we make and the actions we take. For many of us, we’re living our lives based on an internal foundation of self-hatred. We’re inwardly self-destructive. What does self-destructiveness have to do with addiction?

When we are suffering from addiction, we’re lacking much more than just willpower and self-control. We’re also lacking self-love and self-acceptance, critically important elements in being able to create happy lives for ourselves as well as identities based on self-worth. As addicts, we’re often coming from a place of subconscious self-destructiveness which is informing everything we do, think and feel. Our inner world is full of self-hatred, insecurity, and self-rejection. We never feel good enough. We doubt ourselves and beat ourselves up. We act out our self-harm in all kinds of ways, from physically harming ourselves, to contemplating suicide, to speaking to ourselves in unkind, self-deprecating ways.

Many of us have developed coping mechanisms to try and handle our self-destruction. We ignore and avoid the signs that our health is worsening. We throw ourselves into our jobs and become addicted to perfectionism. We deny we have a problem, both to ourselves and others. Even if on the surface we don’t appear to be suffering, even if we appear to have everything together and to be managing just fine, we often are deeply destructive but have developed ways of hiding it from the outside world. We’ve gotten good at suppressing our emotions, masking our pain and denying our difficulties. We’ve become adept at keeping our behaviors and our choices a secret from anyone who we fear might worry, who might judge us, or who might convince us to get help. We’re instinctively afraid of how hard it will be to learn how to love, nurture, protect and care for ourselves.

If we focus on changing our behaviors without also focusing on changing the way we feel about ourselves, how we view ourselves, and how we treat ourselves, we run the risk of staying trapped in the cycles of self-destructiveness fueled by our self-hate. It will continue to feel next to impossible to recover from our addictions so long as we don’t address our internal feelings of worthlessness and destructiveness.

At The Guest House Ocala, you will be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.