The Cycle of Negative Emotions in Active Addiction

The Cycle of Negative Emotions in Active Addiction

Emotions are a big part of addiction. In fact, for many people, life is a chaotic cycle of emotional pain, drug-seeking, and drug use. After all, drugs and alcohol alter the way we think and feel. After a while, the way that you think and feel will start to control what and how much you use. Addiction can be an insidious disorder, and sometimes plays tricks on your mind.  These tricks may mean exaggerated feelings or no feelings at all and a sense of numbness. It’s true that while you’re high, you may not feel a thing.

Many people who use regularly are counting on a sense of relief from negative emotions. Those feelings don’t go away, even if you’re high or drunk all the time. Instead, they bury themselves and can crop up in ways that make you act in ways you may be ashamed of. Or, you may find that even when you’re getting high, your feelings that you’ve buried for so long no longer seem to go away. You may feel angry or ashamed all the time, especially if you have trouble quitting using.

4 Emotions and How They Contribute to Addiction

  1. Addiction can cause you to live in fear. When a person is under the influence of drugs, inhibitions are often dropped. While this initially may feel like a good thing it often leads to behavior and risk-taking, especially when it comes to drug-seeking behavior. Fear may be pushed aside temporarily, but there are times it might keep you up at night. Fearing arrest, losing loved ones, overdosing and other significant life events is a part of living with addiction. And most addicted people will use to cover up this fear, over and over. Sometimes these fears come true.
  2. You may feel hopeless and depressed. It’s natural to feel this way when you’re stuck in a cycle of ups and downs. That’s what addiction is. Drug-seeking isn’t fun, and the losses that go along with that aren’t, either.
  3. You may feel ashamed or worthless. A lot of people who are addicted felt this way before they ever picked up a drug, and continue to feel this way, especially if they debase themselves through their addiction. Shame is a deep emotion that can have ties to abuse and other trauma. A lot of people with substance abuse disorders describe feeling ashamed of who they are throughout their lives.
  4. You may feel completely powerless. When you get clean, there’s a lot of talk about powerlessness. It seems as if once you’re around a drug or alcohol, you can’t control how you react, how much you use, or even your behavior. Admitting you are powerless is the first step to recovery.
  5. You may feel alone. Addiction is a lonely disease, and there are a lot of secrets you keep that can isolate you from your loved ones, due to shame or pain. Loneliness is one of the most powerful emotions in the world, and addiction can easily keep you isolated when you think no one understands you.

You don’t have to feel alone, ashamed or hopeless anymore. While addiction can bring a lot of pain into your life, taking the chance at recovery can help bring joy and solutions. There is room in recovery for everyone who seeks it, no matter how bad you feel about yourself and your addiction.

Reaching out for help and finding a suitable recovery plan is the first step. When a person gets clean, the body detoxes within a few days or weeks, but the mind usually takes longer to adjust. Call us to learn more about your options and how we can help. All calls are 100% confidential. Just reach out at 888-959-3277 to learn more about your options.