Why Am I So Self-Destructive?

Underneath our addictions and mental health issues, many of us will find that our troubling thoughts and behaviors point to a common theme – self-destructiveness. Why are we so self-destructive? Why do we engage in risky and dangerous behaviors even when we know they aren’t healthy for us? Why do we self-harm? Why do we torture ourselves with toxic thought patterns? The answers to these questions, for many of us, lie in our traumatic experiences and the ways in which we have yet to heal from them.

Sometimes when we are traumatized, we internalize our trauma to mean there is something wrong with us. When we have been abused or experienced family separation, for example, we come to believe that we are inadequate, that we are fundamentally not good enough. If we experienced or witnessed patterns of judgment and criticism growing up, we may develop an inferiority complex. If we sustain a loss, we may come to believe that we were to blame.

These beliefs we hold about ourselves inform our sense of self and our ideas about who we are. We develop low self-esteem. We feel insecure. We hate ourselves. We begin to develop compulsions and other behaviors that reflect these feelings of insecurity and self-hatred. Deep within, we feel emotionally unsafe and unstable, and our actions reflect this lack of emotional safety and stability. Our thoughts and behaviors are directed toward self-destructiveness because deep down we don’t love ourselves or believe in ourselves. Our instincts to be self-protective and self-preserving are essentially traumatized along with our hearts and minds.

We have the power to change any belief that doesn’t serve us. Those of us who struggle with addictions and mental health issues such as depression have to do some intense emotional work to transform these beliefs. It isn’t easy, but it’s so worth it! Freeing ourselves from our own self-hatred opens us up to healing. Self-love is powerfully liberating. We can choose to believe that our trauma does not define us, that we are more than the bad things that have happened to us, that we are bigger than our pain. Start to transform your self-talk and use words that are encouraging, motivating and empowering. “I love myself. I believe in myself. I am good to myself. I want to heal.”

What would it feel like to see yourself the way your higher power sees you? Can you begin to see yourself as the beautiful being of light and goodness that you were born to be? As the innocent, pure source of love you were when you were born?

Healing from our self-destructiveness takes work, and we are here to support you in the process. Call (800) 871-5440.