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How Are We Consumed by Our Addictions?

When living with addiction, we are not only consumed by our substance abuse or dependence on certain behaviors, we are also consumed by all of the other accompanying factors that come along with these issues. We can find our lives becoming totally overpowered and overtaken by our addictions and how they affect our lives. Our mental, emotional and physical health can all be impaired. Our addictions wreak havoc on our inner peace, our sense of well-being and our ability to find calm and serenity in our lives. We’re living with intense inner turmoil and conflict. We have to deal with all kinds of difficult life circumstances that are debilitating and that hold us back. We lose our jobs and our financial security. Our relationships are put to the test and often can’t survive the strain put upon them. We’re dealing with highly intense relationship issues and interpersonal problems. We find that we’re not only grappling with our specific addictions but also with all of the consequences of them, many of which we might never have been conscious of.

We can become consumed by our addictions in the way that they take over our minds and hearts. We become so driven by our attachment to a substance or behavior that we feel lost, empty and incomplete without it. We feel totally dependent upon it, needy and out of control without it. We might experience intense mood swings, reactivity and even hostility when we don’t have our drug of choice. We might be unable to calm ourselves down, relax or get to sleep without it. We might not have enough energy to make it through the day without it. We may feel as though we can’t function or keep up with our daily demands and obligations without being high.

We often have an unhealthy relationship with our emotions when struggling with addiction. Our addictions can consume our feelings, our intentions, our choices and behaviors. We prioritize our drug of choice to such an extent that we neglect ourselves, our self-care, our work and our goals. We abandon the people we care about. We find that our lives have become unrecognizable. We don’t even recognize ourselves anymore. All of the things that helped us define who we were, what we loved about life, everything we felt grateful for, are all replaced by our addictions. We’ve lost our ability to think clearly and to act out of our own best interests. Our judgment has become impaired. Addiction has taken over our lives and totally consumed us.

Learning how to recover from our addictions means becoming more mindful of all the ways in which we’ve been impacted by them. It can be hard to look at how powerless we’ve become, how far we’ve fallen, how much we’ve disappointed ourselves and others, how consumed by our addictions we’ve allowed ourselves to be. When we do this inner work, though, we empower ourselves to reclaim our lives back from the addictions that have been consuming us for so long.

Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you get back the life you love. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.