What is underneath addiction?

Do you agree that underneath many or most or all of addictions or alcoholism is loneliness, terror, and pain? If you've been "in the rooms", is this what you're hearing from those that share once they've come around onto the other side of addiction?

What about you? If you've "recovered" from an addiction, are you aware of what was maybe going on under the surface? How did you go about changing those feelings (fear, pain, etc.?) Or maybe you haven't...

What are your thoughts?
  • 6 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • @dominica, I think that those are 3 common drivers fro alcoholism. But, I will argue that those 3 drive a lot of negative behaviors, and alcoholism is just one way they manifest. Eg, the woman at work that snaps at everyone, is insufferable, seems to have an anger problem, but turns out she is terrified of being fired and ending up homeless like her uncle.

    I know for me my alcoholism was driven largely by apathy and arrogance, two items not on the list, but it festered and progressed due to fear like @AlwaysAlex mentioned. Much like the 3 items dominica listed, arrogance and apathy can lead to a lot of negative habits, alcoholism being one.

    For me, I had to get started on my recovery because an outside force made me care, breaking the apathy. Then, the recovery method I used, as well as my own desire to fix myself, led me on a lot of soul searching and thinking to ID and admit to the arrogance, and consider the fear an other items as contributing but not causal.

    I think the take-away is that there are a lot of negative habits that people have. Often they are a symptom of something else. Once can treat the symptom, but the underlying disease will just cause a new negative habit (going from drinking to gambling or smoking, as examples) to crop up. We can ID traits that are common to alcoholics, but I would say that one then needs to look across to other addicts and see if there is a statistically significant correlation within acceptable error margins (boom! science!). I'd say there are lots of traits common to people with addictions, or "addictive personalities". That doesn't make them bad people, or that one can assume someone with anger issues is prone to using drugs, it just means people with those traits need to be aware and more in tune with what they are doing, and what's the real reason why. That real reason might not always be obvious.
  • @AlwaysAlex Thank you for sharing that. I'm glad that you have done the inner healing work. I think many people that come to recovery aren't aware that there's more to it than just putting down the drink or drug. I'm glad that you've been able to put things in the past and that you're doing so wonderful.

    @Leaker Very good insight as well. I agree that there are plenty of other underlying traits or emotions or unhealed wounds or whatever that can contribute to abusing alcohol or drugs or picking up some other addiction. I like the way you said that each person should become aware and More in tune to what they're doing and the real reason why.

    True it might not be very obvious, and this is why I think it's helpful to get support in the form of a therapist or a wise friend or Sage or support group or books or something to that effect.

    Thank you both for sharing!
  • I think depression is a common root cause of addiction. And I think loneliness, terror, and pain can all be a part of depression. I know that my son's depression caused him to self-medicate. He just wanted to numb all of the negative feelings he was having, and he didn't care how he did it. That led to him taking other people's RX meds, smoking pot, and, eventually, using heroin. I think getting help for mental health issues can make recovery a lot easier for most people. Just my two cents.
  • @AlwaysAlex and @Leaker... Thanks for sharing your insight with us. :)
  • @DeanD Very true.... It is my hope that insurance companies will better cover mental health therapy too... b/c many could use it...and won't want to pay out of pocket.
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