The Cyclical Patterns of Addiction

Those of us struggling with addiction often find ourselves living with patterns that many of us share in common. There are certain life cycles many of us experience pertaining to our addiction. Addiction is all-encompassing and touches every area of our lives, from our mental and emotional health, to our relationships, to our work. Understanding the patterns of addiction can help us to outgrow them so that we can be more at peace and better equipped for recovery.

When we are caught in our patterns, we often aren’t conscious of them. We’re going through the motions, living out life cycles without being aware of how destructive they are. For example, many of us who struggle with addiction also experience recurring cycles of depression. We aren’t aware of the things contributing to our depression, such as our poor self-image, self-rejection and negative self-talk. Many of us also experience unhealthy levels of stress and anxiety. Our addictions prevent us from learning and practicing healthy coping strategies. We don’t learn how to manage our difficult thoughts and emotions in healthy, productive ways.

Another pattern many of us perpetuate is that of unhealthy relationships. We haven’t yet learned how to value ourselves, so we stay in toxic and abuse relationships. We don’t believe in our self-worth so we manifest relationships that reflect our insecurity and self-hatred. We go from one unhealthy relationship to another, wondering why we can’t be happy and attract a partner who treats us with love and kindness. Often our relationships fuel and exacerbate our addiction. We attract other addicts, we enable each other’s addiction and we become each other’s accomplices in deepening our issues. Our unhealthy relationships perpetuate our addictions, and vice versa. We use our drugs of choice to escape and self-medicate from the pain of our toxic relationships. The more stressed we are about our relationships, the more likely we are to retreat into the comfort, avoidance and escapism of our addictions.

Our work often suffers from our addictive behaviors. We default on our obligations and neglect our responsibilities. Many of us start missing work, showing up late or failing to meet deadlines. We struggle to keep up with our assignments. Many of us end up losing our jobs and have a hard time finding work again. Employers are hesitant to hire people with a history of addiction or interruptions in their work history. Issues with work can become a recurring cycle that many of us have to contend with when we’re living with addiction.

Identifying and deciphering our cyclical patterns helps us to understand our addictions and to become more aware of all the effects they can have on our lives.

At Riverside Recovery, our commitment is to helping you achieve a full and lasting recovery so that you can reclaim the life you love. Call us today: (800) 871-5440.