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Addiction is the temporary solution to your trauma, it is a familiar and learned coping mechanism that can keep you away from addressing the root cause of the trauma.

Addiction and Trauma

Addiction is a way of attempting to cope with emotional and psychological pain. ⁠Addiction can become a maladaptive coping mechanism, leading to further harm and distress.For example, someone might engage in substance abuse as a way of temporarily numbing their feelings or avoiding addressing the root cause of their trauma.⁠ Unfortunately, this solution is not sustainable in the long-term. The immediate relief from the addiction is only temporary and can make it even more difficult to address the underlying cause of trauma. ⁠By continuing to engage in addictive behaviors, one may inadvertently be preventing themselves from healing and growing in positive ways.⁠ It’s important to understand that addiction is not a sign of weakness or lack of willpower. Rather, it is a complex condition that can be driven by deep-rooted emotional, psychological, and physiological factors.


Family and Addiction Recovery

If you are a loved one of someone who is struggling with addiction, please realize that their negative behavior is not something they are purposefully and consciously doing TO you. Instead, these maladaptive, negative behaviors are something they are doing to themselves. As a result, their behaviors are definitely affecting you and causing you trauma. They can’t show up and be present for you if they can’t show up for themselves. Your loved one may even be unaware of the reasons why they are engaging in problematic behaviors and compulsions. This is not an excuse for them by any means. They need to want to get better and do their work. Recovery is a verb. It’s an ongoing process, a lifestyle change. But they are not doing this TO you. They are dealing with their own struggles that only they can overcome. The best thing you can do as a loved one of an addict is to support your loved one without enabling them. Encourage them to reach out for help, and be willing to do the work with them.


Addiction Therapy Healing

Addiction is incredibly difficult to deal with for everyone involved. While it may seem impossible at this point, please remember that healing is possible. And it consists of 3 parts: 

  1. The addict’s recovery (that needs to be ongoing). 
  2. Loved one’s therapy to heal the betrayal trauma and any childhood trauma wounds.
  3. Relational healing- family therapy with a trained professional so you become a “family in recovery”, healing and growing together.

Addiction is overwhelming, don’t take it on alone. There are trained professionals  to assist  the person suffering from addiction and the family members who are also suffering. Together, with the help of a therapist in your area, you can regain control of your lives.