I’ve mentioned, in previous posts, that I have experience with recovery and sobriety. I have personally been sober since late 2014. There’s a myriad of reasons for my choice to live that lifestyle. Primarily, I did have a history in my early to mid-twenties of substance abuse. I won’t get into root reasons for my addiction issues in this post. My problem varied in extremes, but I was always, in my mind, dependent on those substances for comfort, control, and a twisted sense of peace. My main vice was alcohol.
But, just like most therapists will point out, most addictions or dependent types of relationships are indicators, or symptoms, of a deeper problem. One of my deeper problems is self-sabotage, which shows up much of the time as self-destructive tendencies.
Dealing With Self-Destructive Tendencies
Even after a year sober, those tendencies don’t magically get up and walk away. I have to work towards an entirely new state of mind and way of being in my life. Which, to me, is probably one of the biggest reasons people don’t stay sober. It can get pretty god damn difficult sometimes to make such a monumental shift in your life. And, when your mind works like mine does sometimes, the patience required to implicate those changes can feel like an invisible force shoving you to the ground. Life can be challenging enough when you live on life’s terms instead of your own as a “normal person”. When you throw recovery and sobriety into the mix, you have a whole new level of physiological and psychological complexity at work.
All of that heavy, burdensome stuff aside though, it’s far better than the life I was leading. Awareness can be a challenge, but it’s better to me to be aware of the challenges I face than feel like I’m walking through the dark blindfolded. My self-destruction now comes in different and more subtle forms.
Before, my self-destruction was definitely “on-the-surface”:
- Drinking to blackout states repeatedly
- Driving under the influence
- Going on drinking and drugging binges
- Lack Of Sleep
- Terrible Diet
- Erratic Work Habits
- Lack of work ethic
- Lack of drive in life in general
- The list goes on and on
My tendencies now look more like:
- Getting quickly overwhelmed when something at work doesn’t go my way
- Obsessing over minuscule, unimportant, and innocuous things
- Indulging in my negative emotions and states of mind
- Erratic sleep schedule
- Being stubborn about unimportant things
- Anxiety ALL of the time
- Stressing over small things
- Lack of perspective
- Lack of routine in healthy habits
- Lack of focus and prioritization
- Biting my nails
- Drinking too much coffee
- Overstimulating myself with news and social media
I haven’t listed everything single thing I do that I think is self-destructive. I do know some of the things I would list might actually just be everyday parts of the human experience. But, for me they are a bit of a newer experience. So, they seem to be much more overwhelming, strange, and readily apparent to me.
So, why the hell would I want to be “self-destructive” to myself?
I’m still figuring that out. People who deal with addiction and/or trauma and the like have been shown to have a proclivity to repeat cyclical activities that cause them pain or harm, physical and/or emotional. For me in my observations it is a form of escape from facing the underlying causes of the problem or situation, and a control over repeating the cycle of pain to engage in the feeling of being alive. That last part I picked up from a book I have been reading recently called The Body Keeps The Score. I am no expert on psychology or trauma, but I have been through some shit and seen some things, and this book makes a whole lot of sense to me.