Addictions among child abuse victims are common. Addictions help us to escape the pain and numb us. But, there will be no recovery if you cannot experience your feelings. It is not uncommon for a survivor to have multiple addictions; some more dangerous and life-threatening than others.
Over the span of my life, I have had many addictions: alcohol, nicotine, sugar, sex, cannabis, shopping, over-achieving and toxic relationships. I am in recovery from alcohol, nicotine, sex, and toxic relationships. Was it difficult—absolutely. But, it is also very freeing, and you’ll experience such a sense of accomplishment.
Addictions are extremely difficult to overcome, but overcome them you must if you want to recover from your abuse. First, and foremost you must be committed to wanting to rid yourself of your addictions, or it will never happen. It is not uncommon to have slips while trying to break an addiction. If it happens, you must start over again and again if it is necessary until you are free from the addiction that binds you. We are slaves to our addictions. We do not control our lives—the addiction controls our lives.
If you are addicted to alcohol, drugs, or gambling; then go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, or a Gambler’s Anonymous meeting. Just do it! Even if you do not want to go, over time you may become engaged and kick your addiction. You must not give up, make a commitment right now that you are going to beat it and then go do it.
Like myself, many addicts have a long list of things they are addicted to. Choose the one that is most dangerous and detrimental to your well-being and tackle it before it kills you. Please, do not try breaking more than one addiction at a time; otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure. It took me forty-five years to kick nicotine, but I finally did it. I can’t tell you how much better I feel physically and emotionally. I didn’t realize how much my smoking controlled me until I quit. It took me four or five times to break my alcohol addiction, and I still have others to break. Take it one day at a time, and don’t allow it to overwhelm you.
Be aware “your drug of choice” will no longer be “numbing” you, and memories of your abuse will begin to re-surface. Therefore, it would be wise to have an established relationship with a therapist before you attempt to stop your addiction. You can do it.