DO ADDICTIONS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH EMOTIONS?
The title of this blog may have some of you questioning how these two sets of words go together?
You may be continuing to read out of curiosity, thinking addiction has nothing to do with emotions….Addiction is the need to repeat a behaviour, an act, or a ritual over and over again. That is a very true statement and sometimes emotion has nothing to do with addiction activities when they begin. However, once Addiction becomes noticeable and has begun to affect your life, it does contain emotions and these emotions can be very difficult to deal with, both for you and those around you. The emotions that accompany addiction can be intense and often completely opposite to each other. You could be experiencing excitement vs embarrassment, joy vs sadness or motivation vs lifelessness and in everyday life, this is an uncommon and difficult way to feel.
Understanding your emotions
The emotional turmoil which occurs with addiction requires the ability to regulate emotions and in order to regulate these emotions, you may require help in understanding them. Understanding emotions and what effects they have on us aid our awareness of ourselves and what we need to feel at peace, content and fulfilled in our lives. Emotional regulation helps us to identify unhelpful thoughts, feelings and actions which lead to addiction and over time you can gain the ability to identify and care for yourself in much healthier ways. By exploring your addiction, behaviours and emotions we are able to gain a clearer view of possible learned behaviours, thought processes or lack of self-worth from both your past and present life, and again your awareness of this only provides more understanding of yourself and addiction. I have had clients sit with me in despair of who they have become because of addiction, some have felt completely lost to their addictive behaviours and don’t recognise themselves anymore, and some feel they may never recover. It is worth remembering that the person you’ve become wasn’t what you planned, you didn’t wake up one day and think to yourself “you know what I’m going to become an addict today”.
Recovering from addiction
Recovery from addiction is possible and with the right help, guidance, insight and support you are able to build your own unique self-regulation for your emotions. We all walk our own unique paths in life, therefore you need your own unique awareness, understanding and ways to build a support structure around yourself. As we grow up we aren’t always taught about the importance of emotionally supporting ourselves, we aren’t always aware of our ability to regulate and soothe ourselves when the going gets tough, and life does get very tough sometimes! It can sometimes feel like Addiction is one of those elastic band balls, which look impossible to untangle and so creates the feeling of impossibility, effort and a view of the long road ahead. But those elastic band balls are easier to untangle than you may think, they are also amazing to look at and have many different uses in the long run. You will find positives have come from your journey so far, you will have gained insight and understanding to aid your future to come and you have made it this far and are reading this blog. Have faith in yourself, your future and your ability to become the best you can be……it is built in us as human beings and it’s in you too! Rebecca Jarvis - Hilton