Letter from the Emotional Addict

My name is __________ and I am an addict. Not your typical addict. You wont find me in bars or drinking alone, you wont find me on skid row or shooting up. I’m not on prescription pills or using sex, I don’t gamble my savings away or even overeat…

I am an addict. An addict that you could never identify from the outside. I am an emotional addict. Addicted to emotional pain. I am my own dealer; my mind and my thoughts supply my drug of choice. I am addicted to the pain that my own mind causes me. I get my rush from my thoughts and my experiences.

Emotional Addiction

I hate myself; I loathe myself and despise who I am. There is something inside of me that wants and needs to continually abuse myself. I put myself in situations and relationships that make it easy for me to continually self-abuse. I have made myself the problem for everything and everyone in my life so that I can continue to get that rush. I can blame, shame and guilt myself constantly. Its like I have my own endless supply of drugs in my mind. Whenever I need a fix, I just let my thoughts go to a place of shame and guilt and I get a rush. Consciously it does not feel good but at a deep subconscious level, I love the pain. It is the pain that I have lived in my whole life.

There can never be too much happiness in my life because I don’t deserve it. I tried to be happy as a little girl then the anger of my caretakers made it very clear to me that it was not acceptable and so I had come to believe that I don’t deserve to be happy. I find relationships that continue to echo that message. And if they don’t make me feel bad at the moment and I am starting to get happy, I just have to reach for a painful thought or memory in my mind and let the emotional pain flood right back in. Oh, the sweet place of misery. At a conscious level it is sick and irrational, but deep in the subconscious, it is so comfortable and delicious. The suffering is where I like to live. Knowing the self-hatred, I have for myself, there is no reason that I should ever be allowed to feel good or be happy.

I have to be in constant pain. It is like a game for me and I don’t even realize I am doing it. I can sabotage any relationship or conversation around me just to get a rush of the shame or guilt that can take me down again. My psyche feels so alive but my physical body feels so bad. The pain causes a rush of adrenaline through my body and makes me tingle in an uncomfortable way. It takes anywhere from 20 minutes to hours for the discomfort to disappear but deep down, in my subconscious, I obviously like living there. I scramble to try to find a way to take the physical discomfort away. I think about reaching for a drink, some pain meds, a smoke, or any other distraction to make it go away, knowing full well that those things would only make me feel worse. But strangely enough, once the discomfort subsides, it is only a matter of time before I find myself in a situation where I get another rush. It is my addiction. It is the merry go round of insanity and I wanted to blame everyone one and everything on the outside for my pain on the inside.

Enough declares itself! Addiction is when you continue to go back to something despite the negative consequences. Why did I keep going back there? Why did I love the pain so much? It was all I knew and told myself that is what I deserved. I grew up believing that pain meant love. They love me and they hurt me so that must mean that love hurts. I saw the dysfunction in my behavior and know that it had to stop and I had to stop it! No one else could cut off the addiction but me. It was a battle in my mind. I had to step away from the guilt, the shame, the self-abuse and abusive situations. I had to find love, respect and compassion for myself because only then, could I demand that others treat me with love and respect. I am still working on my self-love and I know when I get to that place, it will be reflected in the people that I allow in to my life.

Until then, I will be kind and gentle with myself as it took many years to get to this place and the change wont come over night. It is a journey of self-love and acceptance. There is a damaged little girl inside me that I get to love and nurture back to health. She needs to know she is safe and loved and deserves to be happy.

Your Turn…

What about you?  If you’re trying to change a certain script in your life, start small and experience some success.  Build from there.  What has been stopping you from moving forward with change?  What rituals (or habits) do you want to change in your life?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

About the Author

Tracy Todaro is an award-winning best-selling author, Co-Founder of Invigorated Solutions (see http://www.invigoratedsolutions.com) and a certified Life Coach specializing in life transition coaching, career changes, major life changes and family matters. She can be reached at info@invigoratedsolutions.comEmotional Addiction

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Published by: Invigorated Solutions.  Bob and Tracy Wallace are Co-Founders of Invigorated Solutions.  Tracy is a certified Life Coach specializing in life transition coaching, career changes, major life changes and family matters.  Both can be reached at info@invigoratedsolutions.com

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