Ignoring the Lie that You Aren’t Good Enough

Ignoring the Lie that You Aren’t Good Enough

The most difficult aspect of addiction recovery is the havoc the disease can reek on your psychological health. While the physical symptoms of addiction are certainly difficult and painful to overcome, the way it changes your mental processing, perspective, impulse control and emotional health is disorienting and devastating. The addicted mind floods the addict with the following fatalistic and untrue beliefs:

  • Recovery is not possible
  • This is just who I am
  • I can quit whenever I want – I just don’t want to yet
  • I’m not strong enough to overcome this
  • No one cares about me anyway
  • I can do this eventually, but this is not the right time
  • I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve help

These are all dysfunctional and untrue thoughts projected by the disease as a means of protecting itself from recovery. It may seem like a strange concept, but these fatalistic thoughts are lies that you are telling yourself. It is absolutely essential that you recognize this, ignore these voices and take your first steps toward freedom.

How Psychological Addiction Works

Drugs and alcohol directly impact the “pleasure center” or “reward center” of the brain. This tiny area in the prefrontal cortex is responsible for a wide range of critical emotional functions and behaviors, including the following:

  • The formation and recollection of memories
  • Mood management and control
  • Impulse control and stress tolerance
  • Self-esteem
  • Anxiety management
  • The formation of habits (learning behavioral patterns)
  • Appetite and eating
  • Sleeping and waking
  • Sexual attraction and response
  • Feelings of contentment and wellness

The high experienced during drug or alcohol abuse washes over this part of the brain, super-stimulating the pleasure receptors and overpowering the naturally occurring “feel good” substances the brain normally uses for behavior reinforcement following activities like exercise, personal accomplishment, serving others or cultivating relationships. Once the brain experiences the euphoria offered by these substances it will demand nothing less.

Most addicts suffer from at least one of the following co-occurring psychological disorders:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Compulsive behaviors (process addictions)

These issues and others like them create emotional pain or distress, which is temporarily relieved by drugs or alcohol. The brain recognizes that relief and then uses its psychological tools to keep that relief coming. Even when your rational or conscious mind understands that the negatives associated with substance abuse far outweigh the short-term relief it provides, the psychological aspects overpower it. This is why addicts continue to use substances despite negative personal, financial, legal or relational consequences. It is this damaged part of your brain that tells you that you aren’t good enough to deserve recovery.

Successful Addiction Recovery

The secret to successful and sustained recovery is the comprehensive treatment of all aspects of your emotional and psychological health as well as your addiction. These issues are all directly related and must be recognized as such. The most effective treatment programs do this by developing customized treatment plans comprised of the following elements:

  • A thorough diagnosis of your overall emotional health
  • The cultivation of a detailed plan for addressing all co-occurring disorders
  • Individual and group counseling sessions
  • Educational classes that empower you to manage your recovery
  • Coping skill education and coaching
  • Long-term aftercare programs

You Deserve the Best Help

For immediate and confidential answers to all of your recovery questions, or to be connected to the most effective programs, call our toll-free helpline right now. You are good enough. You can do this with help. Call now.