You’ve given up drinking, only engaging in an adult beverage once in a great while so you’re not the booze hound. You don’t smoke tobacco or marijuana or crack. You don’t snort cocaine. You don’t binge eat or compulsively exercise. You don’t overshop or overspend. You’re not into porn or gambling or promiscuity.

Yet you’re still an addict. 

What’s worse is you don’t have this external stimulus you can point to that demonstrates your addiction, which makes it worse. You’re mostly healthy, have a good family, healthy relationships, a business you love. 

So what the heck is it?

You’re addicted to suffering, being the victim, self-loathing.  This addiction of yours is much more socially acceptable than shooting heroin into your veins but it is just as self-destructive. 

Yes, your life is pretty good but there’s always a gap between where you are and where you’d truly like to be. Your addiction prevents you from ever closing that gap. It actually reinforces and widens the gap. You subconsciously crave feeling bad to make you feel good. 

So you create struggle and scarcity in your business, initiate battles with your body, and instigate arguments with your partner. You wouldn’t want to allow yourself to not feel bad because that is who you are.

This addiction to struggle has become your identity. You relive past traumas and create those feelings again and again which creates thoughts that reinforce the behavior of being the victim. It’s gotten so bad at points that you played the ultimate victim card – that you are so screwed up and will never figure it out and there’s no hope for you so you might as well just take yourself out.  

That gives you a huge hit – it feels so terrible that your addict rolls around loving this fix. The problem is, like any addiction, it’s never enough. There’s no way to satisfy this deep hole in your soul and you will just keep going down further and further. 

People will think you’re crazy. What the heck is wrong with you? You are healthy, you have a good family, work, a home. Why would you want to take yourself out?

They don’t see the inner workings that have created this emotional addiction – that it has become you. LIke giving up any drug, it isn’t easy. Something goes well and you go into withdrawal and anxiety. It’s not ok to feel ok. It’s not safe. So you tap back into your old wiring, beliefs, and thoughts which influences your actions so that you create more struggle in some area of your life. Ah, I feel like crap, that’s better. 

Yes, it sounds ridiculous but all addicts have this self-loathing victim mentality at their core. Their drug of choice is their attempt to escape yet it just creates more suffering which just reinforces their worthlessness and helplessness. This perpetuates the cycle of despair. 

There is a way out, of course, because there are no victims. 

The shift happens when you realize the only one oppressing you is you. All those thoughts and memories about past traumas –  you continue to choose them, reinforce and recreate them, and live them, therefore reaffirming your brokenness.

The only people that want to keep you down are you, you, and you. 

Once you own you have created this addiction – physically, mentally,  and psychologically – you can do the work to recover and overcome it. 

And, yes, it requires work. 

Freeing yourself from the chains of self-oppression is not only the best thing you’ll ever do, it is also the most powerful and life-changing because you start to see it is not only possible and safe to have it all, it is also your responsibility.

As a mantra from traditional 12-step recovery programs states, It works if you work it and you’re worth it. 

Are you willing to work it and own the truth that you’re worth it?