Self Sabotage in Addiction and Recovery

There are many aspects of addiction and recovery to consider, most of which vary from one person to the next. Every person’s situation is different, and this is one of the things about addiction that makes it so difficult to treat. Especially when you consider that so many people are self sabotaging themselves with regard to their recoveries. Despite it being within their ability to overcome addiction, they often ruin their recoveries by putting themselves in situations that jeopardize their ability to remain sober. In fact, the actual development of an addiction could be seen as a form of self sabotage.

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For most people, the idea is that addiction is a voluntary behavior that they should be able to stop as easily as they started. In other words, the perception is that alcohol and drug addiction represents a behavioral problem or perhaps even a moral problem rather than a brain disease. Similarly, the general population doesn’t see recovery as being much of a struggle. Most people believe that individuals should be able to go to rehab for a few weeks and return home without any desire to use drugs or consume alcohol, but it doesn’t work that way. Addiction is an extremely complicated disease that warps a person’s mind in such a way as to prevent them from being able to think in rational ways. After becoming addicted, people become irrational and self-destructive, sabotaging themselves at every turn.

Self Sabotaging in Addiction and Recovery

But what, exactly, does a self sabotaging addict look like? What does this behavior in addiction and recovery entail? That’s what we’ll be discussing below.

Although most of us have at least heard of the term “self sabotage”, and many of us probably have a vague understanding of what it means, it’s important to have a very clear idea of what it means to sabotage oneself when it comes to developing alcoholism or drug addiction and when it comes to addiction recovery. But first, let’s take a look at the concept of this behavior on its own.

The word “sabotage” refers to the deliberate destruction, damage, or obstruction of something, especially with regard to some type of military or political advantage. However, the use of “sabotage” has extended far beyond the political and military contexts. When you add “self” to the word, it becomes self sabotage, which has a very similar meaning as the word “sabotage” on its own. The chief difference is that instead of referring to political or military sabotage, self-sabotage essentially refers to when people behave in ways that cause themselves some type of harm. For instance, self-sabotage could mean going out with friends the night before a big job interview; the individual knows that being out late will jeopardize his or her performance in the interview, but chooses to go out with friends anyway. In essence, he or she is sabotaging his or her opportunity with the prospective employer.

Low Self-Esteem in Addiction and Recovery

Self sabotage can occur in many different situations and applies to numerous different scenarios. The basic idea is that it refers to a behavior that will hold a person back, damage his or her relationships, or result in some type of loss, which are direct consequences of the behavior. In some instances, this occurs due to carelessness or because an individual underestimates the effect that his or her actions will have on other aspects of life. But there are also people who sabotage themselves on purpose, which often happens with relationships when the individual feels that his or her romantic partner can do better. As well, this behavior often occurs in relationships when one party has extremely low self-esteem. As you can see, there are many situations in which self sabotage can occur, but the general idea remains much the same: a person is essentially trying to destruct some part of themselves, particularly with regard to certain aspects of life such as career, relationships, physical health, and so on.

Negative Behavior During Addiction and Recovery

Now that we have a thorough understanding, let’s take a look at how this negative behavior relates to addiction. In many ways, the development of alcoholism or drug addiction is the epitome of self destruction. Anyone, no matter age or gender or socioeconomic level, is aware of the risk of addiction before they ever even abuse alcohol or drugs for the first time. In fact, there have been numerous people who turn to alcohol or drugs specifically as a means of to harm themselves or fuel their negative emotions; virtually anyone who is interested in abusing alcohol or drugs is essentially looking for a way to get out of themselves.

It goes like this: When a person first begins abusing alcohol or using drugs, the first indications of this self destruction is when he or she begins becoming late for work or school, shows a decline in work or school performance, and begins being deceitful with his or her loved ones. Even when the substance abuser doesn’t consciously want to destroy his or her relationships, they will continuously betray them if it helps the person to further pursue alcohol abuse or drug use. A substance abuse problem goes on to cost the individual their physical health, career opportunities, and many other things that were preventable.

Self Sabotaging Your Recovery

A person can ruin his or her own recovery, too. There’s a common view that a person needs only to go to rehab for a period of time in order to overcome their addiction, but that’s not the case. After getting out of rehab, a person must essentially rebuild his or her life from the ground up. They need to cut ties with substance abusing friends, avoid places he or she associates with substance abuse and ensure that they aren’t put in situations that jeopardize his or her sobriety. However, there are many individuals who don’t do this after getting out of rehab. Instead, they continue friendships with substance abusers and test their resolve to stay sober. In essence, they ruin their own recoveries, making it very unlikely that they’ll be able to remain sober.

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