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Our addictions very often develop from our need to fill the voids we feel within ourselves. We feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied in our lives. We feel lost, empty and incomplete. These feelings are so unsettling and cause us so much anxiety and uneasiness that we feel desperate to escape them and distract ourselves from them. We use addictive substances, behaviors and relationships to try to fill the voids inside us. We learn with time, however, that not only do they not fill the voids, they deepen, compound and worsen them. Our pain goes unhealed, and we cause ourselves even more pain with our misguided attempts at avoidance and escapism. How can we truly fill the voids we feel, so that we can attain genuine happiness and stop feeling incomplete, empty and unfulfilled?

To fill our voids, we have to examine why we feel them in the first place. Why do we feel so incomplete? Why don’t we feel whole as we are? Why don’t we feel good enough, or deserving, or worthy? Chances are, the losses and traumatic experiences we’ve sustained left such a drastic imprint on our souls and psyches that we began to feel incomplete as a result. We might have lost someone or something we held dear. We might have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Our losses and traumas made us feel convinced that we weren’t good enough on our own, that we needed something outside of ourselves to complete us. We started to seek out completion in external sources, our addictions being one of them. We sought out validation, attention, comfort and companionship in substances and relationships. These things usually end up making us feel even lonelier and even more unhappy. When we don’t learn to fill ourselves up with our own strength and light, we’ll always be grasping at external sources of comfort and solace that don’t actually complete us, that make us feel worse about ourselves, and that deplete us of our inner resources and our capacity for happiness.

We can start working to fill our internal voids holistically by figuring out what makes us feel fulfilled, happy and satisfied. We can find what gives us purpose, meaning and direction in our lives. What did you love to do before addiction took hold of your life? What did you love about yourself before addiction robbed you of your joy and overtook your identity? What makes you feel grateful, inspired and excited? What brings you a sense of fulfillment and adventure? Exploring these things and then implementing them in our lives is how we can actually fill our internal voids and find wholeness and happiness independently.

Riverside Recovery is a drug and alcohol treatment center offering a full continuum of care for people suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. We understand the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and are here to support you. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.