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Many of us aren’t aware of just how pervasive and all-encompassing our self-hatred is, as well as how much it can contribute to our addictions. When we struggle with insecurity, jealousy, envy, bitterness, resentment and judgment, very often it is our self-hate that is at the root of all of that. We instinctively try to forget the pain of how much we hate ourselves by numbing ourselves to it with addictive substances, behaviors and relationships. We come to learn that by doing this, not only are we not ridding ourselves of our self-hatred, we are exacerbating it. We’re letting it fester and grow. We’re manifesting more circumstances that reflect it. We’re in relationships that are toxic and unhealthy and make us feel even worse about ourselves. We continue to do things we’re ashamed of. We repeat patterns that keep us in a spiral of self-hate.

When we start to pay more attention to our thoughts and emotions, we may notice that when we feel that pang of self-hate, we turn to our drug or behavior of choice, sometimes automatically. Most people probably struggle with self-doubt at times, but when we are filled with a general sense of inadequacy, we are constantly fighting the thoughts telling us we’re not good enough, we don’t deserve to be happy, we are inferior to other people, we will never amount to anything.

We try to drown out these thoughts with anything that takes away the pain in that moment. When we haven’t healed within on a deep level, that escapism can become addictive. It can be so much easier, and feel so much better, than having to face those painful thoughts sober. We don’t want to face our self-hatred clear-headed, it hurts too much. So we prefer to be in a cloud of avoidance. We pretend it’s not there. We become addicted to being in that hazy drug-induced fog. Unhealed pain always returns, though. It hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s still very much inside us. When the high wears off, the self-hate hits us with even more force because while we’ve been avoiding dealing with it, it’s been growing stronger and deeper, extending to all parts of ourselves. We hate ourselves for using. We hate ourselves for not quitting. We hate ourselves for the relationships and patterns we’re stuck in.

When we are ready to do the work of recovery, confronting our self-hatred is one of the most important things we can do.

Many of us in the Riverside community are in recovery ourselves. We understand. Call (800) 871-5440.