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Self-Sabotage In Addiction Recovery

Addiction leads a person down a path of self-destruction. It produces serious consequences that destroy people’s lives. So let’s define the word addiction again. Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and continued use despite any harmful consequences it may cause. When addicts are in full-blown addiction, they continue to go down this path of destruction regardless of the harm it has caused to their families, the relationships it has destroyed, and the chaos it has created. This pattern repeats itself over and over and can even continue into their recovery.

Addiction and Self-Sabotage

Statistics show that between 40% and 60% of addicts who go through rehab will relapse, and even more don’t finish rehab because they end up sabotaging themselves beforehand. So why do addicts continuously self-sabotage themselves? Through recovery, a person learns a lot about themselves. Recovery takes time; it is a process. When an addict enters recovery, they don’t immediately stop the “stinking thinking,” as it’s called. Stinking thinking for an addict says that ” we deserve the pain and unhappiness, and we deserve to be alone, homeless, miserable, and unemployed.

Reasons Why Addicts Sabotage Their Recovery

Self-sabotage is defined as any behavior or thought patterns that get in the way or hold you back and prevent you from doing what you want to do. There are many reasons an individual may self-sabotage themselves, but most of it stems from a lack of belief in oneself. One of the most common reasons that addicts will self-sabotage in recovery is stress. Everyone experiences stress in their lives, but addicts don’t know how to cope with stress. They self-medicate anytime things get too overwhelming for them. After years of substance abuse and unhealthy coping mechanisms, it takes time to learn how to handle stressful situations in a healthy way. Some of the other reasons why addicts self-sabotage is the following:

  • Negative-Thinking – The inability to deal with negative thoughts and emotions can be detrimental to an addict. This is one of the big reasons why an addict becomes an addict. Depression, telling themselves they aren’t good enough and don’t deserve any better. Drugs can temporarily increase dopamine levels in the brain, which is why the individual continues to run the substances. Therapy helps the person to learn how to regulate their thoughts and emotions. Some people may also need medication to help them if they are dealing with a mental health disorder.
  • Boredom And Isolation – Isolating or being bored is another reason why an addict self-sabotages. Being lonely or bored is dangerous for an addict. With too much time on their hands, it gives time for their mind to wander. This can cause the person to romanticize using.
  • Feeling Sorry For Themselves – Self-pity also plays a huge role in self-sabotaging addiction. Having low self-esteem, self-confidence, and poor self-worth can all lead an individual to use substances. In addition, experts believe that these people may have lower levels of neurochemicals.
  • Guilt/Shame – Feeling guilty about things they did in the past can lead to relapse during the heat of your addiction. It can be a major trigger. But, what has been done is done; things can be changed. When the time is right, you make amends.
  • Bottled Emotions – Bottling up feelings and emotions instead of talking through them can cause relapse as well. Again addicts don’t like to feel. They want a quick fix when in reality, using substances usually makes things 10 X worse.
  • Comfort And Familiarity – Sabotage can also occur because it’s what the addict is used to. They aren’t used to a life without drugs. They aren’t comfortable in their skin unless they are high. Humans are creatures of habit.  The brain and body have to have time to readjust after years of substance abuse. This is why many rehabs recommend at least 30 days of inpatient and then some kind of outpatient program after that.
  • Refusing To Get Help – In recovery, it’s important to rely on professionals and a good support system for healing. If a person refuses to acknowledge things bothering them and asks for help, they will most likely continue to relapse and self-sabotage.

Recovery from a long-term addiction takes time and patience. Addicts have to retrain their brains in recovery. Sticking with a treatment program and attending therapy sessions are a vital part of the recovery process for the best overall success and outcome.

Evoke Wellness at Cohasset Has Specialists Ready to Help with One Phone Call

Evoke Wellness at Cohasset offers evidence-based addiction treatment to cater to the individual needs of each patient. Our solution-focused treatment provides men, women, and families integrated and comprehensive care geared towards leading you on the road to long-lasting recovery. If you are having issues with alcohol, let us help you. Our specialists and professionals are highly qualified and supportive and will get you back on track in no time.