Our addictions and mental health issues can affect us in such dramatic ways that we develop a default coping strategy of avoidance. Because we so desperately don’t want to feel our pain anymore, we try to avoid it thinking this will help us to reduce how deeply we’re affected. We soon come to see, though, that avoidance not only doesn’t help, it exacerbates the issue. Avoidance prevents true healing from taking place.
When we avoid the things that bother us, they become more overpowering. We feel increasingly more triggered by and sensitive about our particular issues. Our habits of avoidance can interrupt our lives in meaningful ways. We might isolate ourselves from other people out of fear that we will be hurt and to avoid feeling triggered by them. When we feel particularly triggered by certain people, we might avoid them altogether, causing our relationships to become estranged and distant. Often our loved ones don’t understand the impact their words or actions have on us, especially if we ourselves aren’t aware of them and haven’t been able to articulate our feelings to them.
Our avoidance can lead us directly to the addictive substances and behaviors that offer us some relief from our pain. We realize eventually that this relief is only temporary, and it is a form of escapism, not genuine healing. Our addictions become devastating manifestations of our avoidance. Many of us have been running from our issues for so long that we forgot what they were in the first place. We’re not conscious of what our original trauma was or why we’re in so much pain. We’ve buried our complicated emotions under layers of drugs, unhealthy relationships, self-destructive behaviors and toxic thought patterns.
Avoidance can cause us to develop harmful habits of denial and dishonesty. We can lie to ourselves and to the people in our lives in order to hide how severe our problem has become. We can be in denial for so long that we start to believe our lies and convince ourselves we’re fine. Denial can be dangerous and can be the fuel our addictions need to thrive.
Working to shed our habits of avoidance means making the conscious decision that we deserve better, that we deserve to heal. Choosing to face our problems head on can be some of the hardest emotional work we’ll ever do, but it is a crucial step in our recovery. If we remain avoidant, we only perpetuate our addictions and allow them to have control over us.
At Enlightened Solutions, we have the supportive staff, comprehensive resources and effective methodologies to help you in your recovery. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.