When living with addiction and mental illness, we develop many emotional patterns that exacerbate our pain and contribute to our unwellness. One of those patterns is our tendency to form strong attachments to our painful thoughts, feelings, memories and fears. We cling to them because they are what we are most familiar with. We develop comfort zones around our pain, even though we’re highly uncomfortable, because we find it easier to deal with what we’re familiar with than venture into the unknown that can be scary and full of uncertainty and confusion. When we’re attached to our pain, we refuse to let it go. We replay painful memories and relive our traumatic experiences, never allowing ourselves to fully heal from them. We form such strong associations with our pain that we allow it to define us. We form our self-perception and our self-image around our pain and our identity as addicts. We identify more with the pain of our past than the potential to create a better future for ourselves. We let our past history define and control us. We allow our painful experiences to stay with us, affecting our present lives and impairing the health of our current relationships. Our well-being suffers the more attached we are to our pain.
When we’re unable to detach from our pain, we keep manifesting the same problematic circumstances and recurring life issues. We become trapped in the cycles of self-harm, self-destructiveness and self-sabotage that cause us to continuously hurt ourselves and others because we haven’t healed enough to have a healthy relationship with our emotions. How can we detach from our pain in healthy ways, in order to stop letting it consume us and dictate our lives moving forward?
One of the best ways we can learn to detach from our pain is to write about it. We often keep our difficult feelings suppressed and buried within us, never giving time or energy to expressing them or coming to terms with them. Journaling allows us to release all the pent-up thoughts and feelings that we haven’t confronted in years. It helps us to make sense of them, process them, and get more clarity on them so that they’re no longer causing us so much hurt and confusion. When we write, we reconnect with our inner selves. We start to see that we are much more than our painful experiences. We are also full of wisdom, light and beauty. We are full of hope, promise and potential. Writing empowers us to have a healthier relationship with our pain, one that is based on acceptance, healthy release and detachment.
Riverside Recovery believes in the importance of holistic healing and education, mindfulness and mind-body-spirit wellness. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our treatment programs.