For those of us living with addictions and mental health issues, one of the common underlying issues many of us share is that of self-destructiveness. We can become so focused on our day-to-day issues that we fail to see that it is our penchant for self-destruction that is at the heart of our difficulties. It can drive everything from our addictive behaviors to our unhealthy relationships, and everything in between. At the root of our tendency to self-destruct is a self-hatred we’ve developed after years of rejecting and judging ourselves. We’ve lost our ability to feel compassion for ourselves. We no longer have self-love or self-acceptance. Our self-worth has plummeted.
When we are self-destructive, we stop taking care of ourselves. We stop showing concern for our safety, our health and our well-being. We associate with people that hurt us. We stay in relationships that are abusive. We engage in dangerous behaviors. We put ourselves at risk. We self-harm. Sometimes we feel we have nothing to lose. We’ve lost hope and feel we have nothing to live for. We feel a deep sense of inadequacy, that nothing we do is ever good enough and that we’ll never live up to our standards of perfection or measure up to other people. We don’t feel worthy or deserving of love.
Our self-destructiveness is reflected not only in our external actions but also in our internal dialogue. We speak and think about ourselves in self-hating and self-disparaging ways. Notice how the voice in your head sounds and the words it uses. Chances are it is critical and judgmental, belittling and unkind. Many of us would never speak about other people the way we speak about ourselves. It’s impossible to love ourselves when we are inundated with such overwhelming feelings of self-rejection.
For many of us, our self-destructiveness comes from unresolved shame we’ve been carrying for much of our lives. We blame ourselves for the traumatic experiences we endured. We feel we are at fault even when we’ve been wronged. We’re always searching for evidence that we’re inadequate, and we cling to anything that makes us feel bad about ourselves as proof of our unworthiness. We refuse to forgive ourselves for our mistakes. Subconsciously we seem to think we ought to be perfect, and we deny ourselves the understanding and compassion necessary for forgiveness.
Healing our self-destructiveness means developing our capacity for self-forgiveness, our ability to accept all of who we are, and the power of unconditional love. Until we heal from our instincts towards self-destruction, we’ll never be able to fully recover.
The staff at Enlightened Solutions has over four decades of combined personal and professional experience with addiction recovery. Let us support you. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.