People who suffer from any sort of addiction don’t do so because it’s fun, or because it’s a game. And I certainly have a hard time believing ANYONE would wake up and say, “Hmmm, sounds like the perfect day to become trapped in an addiction that will take nearly everything away from me, even my life. Yeah, I want to do that.”
No one chooses an addiction. Additionally, most people may not understand initially why they even have an addiction. Of course, every individual who has an unhealthy addiction, has their own personal reasons for doing so, but it is quite universally understood that those engaging in serious addictions are doing so so that they don't’ have to feel emotions. Like, any emotion. Because, emotions can be hard and hurtful and tricky and scary. Especially when there have been traumatic or difficult things in ones life that may have happened; engaging in your addiction eradicates those bad feelings - if only very briefly - so that you don’t have to feel all of those hurtful and scary emotions.
And really, on a level, it’s understandable. No one likes feeling sad or angry or ashamed or scared. The problem is though, that when we are in treatment and in the process of recovery, if we do not allow ourselves to feel those emotions, then we will never achieve sobriety - not lasting sobriety, anyway.
These feelings that we’ve been trying our damnedest to avoid aren’t feelings that we have to feel all the time, for the rest of our lives - that sounds terrible! No one should ever have to do that, and that’s not the way our lives are meant to be. But, yes, allowing our minds and our bodies to feel those scary emotions - while it is so hard, and so scary, you will have a treatment team around you that cares, and peers as well, who understand every bit of what you’re feeling, so they can all love you and carry you through it.
And, the intensity of these emotions never last. They ebb, and they flow. But in treatment, please know, that if you want a full recovery, you must allow yourself to feel all of the emotions and the reasons behind those emotions that led you to your addiction. I’m not saying it will be easy, and I’m not making light of it. I understand that I am asking you to do something that feels almost more than you can bear.
But you CAN bear it. You CAN feel it, and get through it, and come out on the other side, lighter, free; the shackles of your addiction a little less tight on you. Because you are powerful beyond measure. You are brave beyond measure. You just never let yourself believe it. Treatment at Shadow Mountain Recovery in Taos can help you do this with their excellent providers that care about you and are invested in your full and complete recovery.
So, feel those emotions. It will not be easy, or pleasant. But, you can do it. You have more power and courage than you know. Harness those strengths inside you, and feel and cry and talk and talk and engage until those emotions don’t hurt so much. And every time you feel those emotions without harming yourself through your addiction, you get bigger, braver. And your addiction gets smaller and weaker.
Your addiction will always tell you that you can’t feel these awful emotions. Don’t believe those vile lies.