Breaking The Foundation of Addiction
The first time I tried to kill myself, I was ten years old. I cleaned my room so that once I was gone, my family wouldn't have so much to do, and I didn't want to be a burden anymore. That day, my older sister and I had gotten into a fight, and she called me a bitch. It seems like such a small thing, but in my mind, everyone would have been better off without me.
After being physically, emotionally, and sexually abused most of my childhood, I dealt with a shame that made me feel like I could never do anything right. I felt like I would never be good enough for anyone or anything. That night, I filled the bathtub with lukewarm water and grabbed a serrated steak knife from the kitchen. I was afraid to kill myself, but I was so tired of being in emotional pain.
What started as an attempt to end my life quickly became an addiction. I found that with the right amount of physical pain, I could mask my emotional pain. This addiction plagued me for the next ten years of my life and became my only coping mechanism for dealing with my problems in life.
The last time I tried to kill myself, I was 20 years old. I once again filled the bathtub and had graduated to a serrated bread knife for my weapon of self-harm. I had made up my mind that the world would be better off without me. This time would be the last time. I sliced into my left wrist, and as I was about to slice into the right, I had a God moment. I felt Jesus lift me out of my pain and my misery, and I was able to feel a love I never thought I would be good enough for.
Today, my body is covered in patches of scars from the many attempts I made to mask my emotional pain. I have permanent nerve damage in my left wrist from the last time I tried to kill myself. I used to be ashamed of my scars, but I now know that it is thanks to them that I can give hope to others who feel the pain I once drowned in. I am a survivor.
Dealing with an addiction is tough, and it never completely goes away. Those thoughts hadn't plagued me in years, but earlier this year for about two whole seconds, they resurfaced. I was thankfully able to identify them and shut them down immediately but that never would have happened if I did not change my foundation.
Addictions come in all shapes and sizes. Alcohol, drugs, self-harm, pills, abusive relationships, negative self-talk, shame, control, food, sex, pornography, video games, work, exercising, shopping, social media, and gambling are just a few addictions that plague our society. We all look for coping mechanisms for our emotional pain and stress, but very quickly, our healthy coping mechanisms can become addictions if not done in moderation. Anything that you use to replace something else in an unhealthy way can be an addiction.
Admitting The Problem
The first step in overcoming any addiction can realize you have one. You cannot conquer what you will not confront. Admitting you have a problem begins to give you power over it instead of allowing it to have control over you.
Vulnerability is essential because it allows us to put a face to the name. When we are open about our struggles, we can join arms with others who are dealing with or have dealt with similar situations. This is where the next step is so important.
The second part of overcoming an addiction is having the kind of support system that will help you through your pain. Pity and shame only enable a person's addiction, whether it be drugs, alcohol, pills, self-harm, etc.
Surrounding yourself with people who can see your strengths and allow you to lean on them for support when you need it is essential. Getting a therapist, support group, or a mentor is extremely important because it brings in a third-party perspective to the issue at hand.
Eat The Elephant
The next step to overcoming any addiction is realizing that it is all one bite at a time, just like eating an elephant. It takes one step in front of the next; before you can learn to run, you need to learn to walk before you walk, you have to learn to crawl. However, learning to crawl all starts with learning to make the next right choice.
Choosing to overcome an addiction starts with wanting to overcome it and not getting discouraged along the way. No matter what addiction you or someone you love is dealing with, there is help available. You have to want it. Be sick and tired of being sick and tired. Get inspired to help others overcome their addictions as well.
If we walk hand in hand with one another, we can overcome any addictions and change the foundations what have allowed us to have the addictions we covet. You are loved, accepted, and adored. Remember that, always.
Casey Nicole Fox is an author, speaker, podcaster, and serial entrepreneur. Casey is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of Life By Design Entrepreneur Lifestyle Magazine, San Diego’s ONLY print entrepreneurship magazine. She has four for-purpose businesses while also being the COO of the 8 figure empire of Stegela Partners International Incorporated, the umbrella company of Stegela Success Mastery.