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When we’re thinking about the emotional contributing factors to our addictions, we can’t overlook the pervasive theme of a lack of self-worth for so many of us. We see ourselves as inadequate and inferior to other people because of our addictions and the mistakes we’ve made. We feel worthless and undeserving of success and happiness. We focus on our flaws and shortcomings and totally forget about our gifts and accomplishments. We have a hard time remembering who we were before our addictions took over our lives. Our sense of self has been corrupted, and we believe we are nothing more than the pain of our addictions. We hate ourselves for being addicts, and we have a hard time forgiving ourselves for our pasts. The reasons why we don’t value ourselves often go much deeper than the fact that we have a substance abuse problem or behavioral addiction. Our lack of self-worth is often rooted in the pain of our trauma and in the societal perception of addiction in our communities.

Traumatic Experiences and The Trauma of Living With Addiction

Trauma has a way of destabilizing us to the point where we don’t feel like ourselves anymore. We can’t recognize ourselves. We feel disconnected from our inner selves, our purpose, and our higher power. Living with addiction can in and of itself be traumatic, and many of us are coping with the pain from this trauma on top of the pain of previous traumatic experiences. We can feel blinded and paralyzed by the weight of it all. We don’t know where to turn. In the midst of this pain, we internalize the limiting belief that trauma makes us unworthy. We feel ashamed of ourselves because of it. We blame and condemn ourselves for it. We think our trauma makes us incapable of redemption and undeserving of forgiveness. Our self-worth plummets, and we use our drugs of choice to mask our pain

Cultural Stereotyping and Internalized Programming

Many of us lack self-worth in part because culturally we’re taught that addicts are lesser, that there is something very wrong with them, that they’re criminals, poverty-stricken, crazy, or all of the above. We see ourselves in this very negative, very self-deprecating light because that’s how our society tends to label addicts. We have yet to recognize our worth and to see the incredible strength it takes to overcome addiction, something for which we should be very proud of ourselves. We have yet to discover for ourselves just how inherently worthy we are, unconditionally, at any stage of our addiction recovery.

At The Guest House Ocala, we are uniquely equipped to help our guests heal from trauma-induced substance abuse and process addictions in a safe, comfortable and confidential setting. Call 855-823-5463 today for more information on our treatment programs.