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Addiction

Updated: Oct 20, 2022



No one wants to have an addiction. It’s a vice we all turn to at some point in our lives in an attempt to mask the intense amount of pain we feel over situations experienced in our life, or situations that we feel we can do nothing about. Some of us continue with addictions because we feel that we deserve to receive pain, and so we put ourselves through these destructive cycles.


There are many types of addiction. Most people think of narcotics and alcohol first, however there are many more; self-harm, binge eating, starving yourself of food, shopping, gambling, even staying in an abusive relationship or environment. For me, my addictions are food and self-harm. I say are, as to this day, I do still struggle in manging these aspects of myself.


Food: I choose to consume lots of high fat and high sugar products. At my worst I consumed litres of a well-known blackcurrant drink, ate a couple of large flapjack bars, biscuits, cakes, chocolate bars followed by a calorific takeaway. All of this would be consumed in just one day, over a consecutive number of days. A huge weight gain would follow. I would then enter a cycle of depression over what I had done to myself…and so the cycle continues. I have come to realise that this is a cycle I was used to from a small age. I would be given some of these unhealthy foods to keep weight on me, then judged for the weight I carried. Struggling with food is difficult for me to navigate, as I need to eat in order to survive, and I do worry that with every indulgent thing I enjoy, I’ll get myself sucked into overindulging.


Self-Harm: My first remembrance of me wanting to physically hurt myself was at the age of 6-8, I can’t remember exactly but it was somewhere in that ballpark. A screwdriver had been left in my bedroom. I was angry with life this day, something to do with my situation at home and feeling much pain, anger and frustration. I didn’t know how to channel this energy, and I didn’t have a caring, understanding adult to help me through these emotions. I held the screwdriver in my hand and placed it on my stomach. I had almost pierced it into my skin as hard as I could. I don’t know what stopped me, but I decided to pierce the new bed set that had just been purchased for me. This was met with fury by my main caregiver, and I was never able to forget about it, to this day. If only she knew it was either me or a piece of material that got hurt. The ‘why’ of what I done was never discussed, only judgement for taking that action. I carry that to this day, and looking back, for a child to want to carry out that action, it’s pretty serious.


I would also blame my anger on situations at school that didn’t happen, which would then cause an issue at school. I was in so much fear at home, and not being able to express myself with my main caregiver. How can you tell that person as a child, that it is them and feeling unsafe with them that is making you unhappy and angry?


Self-harm for me also came in the form of keeping my skin looking irritated. When my diet isn’t good due to my poor nutrition intake, my skin develops in breakouts. Thankfully this is mainly on my arms so am able to disguise the damage. When these breakouts appear, I don’t allow the wounds to heal. I tell myself that I’m getting rid of the muck, when in actual fact, I’m making the situation worse by constantly picking at and irritating the infected area. I won’t go into too much detail here as it’s not a pleasant image, however some will understand this.


When the pressure of life got too much, another coping mechanism I would use would be to dig my nails into the most sensitive part of my forearm. I would only feel content when the pain had reached its threshold and I could see a clear mark on my skin. Not looking after my physical appearance somehow made me invisible. The thought process of not wanting anyone to look at me, or really see me.


After I set myself free from the unhappy situations; my relationship with my partner and my family, I found a new sense of freedom. Because I had felt controlled all my life, I was suddenly let off a leash to do as I pleased. I was starting to take care of my appearance, my flat could have all the things I wanted but was restricted from buying. I started to splash my cash on buying too many groceries, only this time I was buying lots of healthy food, most of which would go to waste as it was only me eating it. I would over buy almost everything while not having the capacity to eat it all. I would buy new clothes, just because I liked them, though the tag would remain on them and I’d end up taking them to the charity shop because I no longer liked them, or they no longer fitted. I would buy something not because I needed it or even wanted it, but because I could.

Through my own experience, what I needed was some compassion, support and understanding. I had people trying to ‘fix’ me, and I had people deliberately pushing me into my vices. It was my decision in my own time and on my own terms to attempt to put an end to these destructive patterns. I say attempt as to this day, I struggle most with my addiction to food, which I believe is one of the hardest to control as we must eat to survive, and we also deserve to enjoy some luxuries in life. I delved into the chocolate box for the first time in a long time just a few nights ago but decided to be gentle on myself instead of judgemental. I needed a little bit of comfort in that moment, and that’s how I chose to seek that.

As I reflect, there were many times I should have left behind the factors that were causing me harm, and I was given a number of opportunities to do this. I am still unsure to this day why I chose to stay in these unhappy situations for so long, and why I chose to get back into them when I was given that lifeline. All I know now, is that when something is meant to be, it’s meant to be. We can use our free will to prevent the inevitable, but eventually, we get put right where we need to be. It’s our human need to want to control our situations that sometimes cause us the most pain. So, in accepting the messy part of yourself, you’re accepting life as it unfolds.

In my experience, and what I’ve learned through engaging with my clients, is that it is actually the lack of unconditional love and support we receive that is painful, and sometimes, this comes along but we push it away because we don’t know how to recognise it or we feel unworthy of receiving it. Another cycle, of being kept in pain.

Only when you look into your own heart, tune into its frequency and learn to communicate with it, can you begin to really live life. It’s this process I help guide you through with compassion. The reasons I went into healing are because I want others to be offered the level of unconditional love and support that many of us need but don’t receive. I like to be able to give a moment of my undivided attention within a world that is caught running on an unstoppable hamster wheel. I want every person who encounters me to go away feeling loved, supported, light in energy and free from pain, even if for a short while. I want to give people the power to believe in themselves. The tools to love themselves, the feeling of inner peace as they learn to release judgement, fear and deep, emotional pain.


Much love and many blessings ❤ Abby ❤


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