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Are You Addicted to Your Misery?

Are you all about the ‘frowny face’? Sometimes people become obsessed with their sadness, and any obstacle or excuse they can find not to change it. Misery can be addictive, after all misery loves company right? Addicts and alcoholics especially are prone to cling to their sad stories or fury in order to stay under their cloud of despair. Depression is a mess we can allow ourselves to get stuck in, or even seek out because it is what makes sense to us. We can get so used to being sick and lonely, sad or angry, that we stop thinking about feeling any other way. Or we can self-sabotage on a regular basis because of self-esteem, guilt, regret, or fear.

Addicts and alcoholics can sometimes be more prone to hold onto their misery based on resentments or what I like to call ‘excuses’ to stay in active addiction and alcoholism. I know personally I have several stories and experiences I used to lean on and obsess over secretly inside to keep the destructive behavior going. It can get to the point where our lives are actually pretty stable, but all our trauma and tribulations are self-inflicted.

The following is a list of habits and behaviors that are consistent with a mind state focused on an addiction to misery.

  1. Self-sabotaging relationships, school, work and other positive opportunities and events.
  2. Avoiding feeling or experiencing life to the fullest.
  3. Getting constantly distracted from the thing most important to you.
  4. Commonly find or create negativity out of positive situations.
  5. Blocking positive momentum in life progression.
  6. Fearing to feel too good, too happy too successful.
  7. Procrastinating frequently.
  8. Very indecisive.
  9. Uncertain how you feel about people, placing or things.
  10. Ignoring your goals and aspirations.
  11. Feeling like you never get a break
  12. Feeling incompetent and unworthy.
  13. Difficulty with changing behaviors despite of repeated negative consequences.
  14. Impulsively act on assumptions instead of relying on the facts.
  15. Resistance to change.
  16. Getting obsessed with the details and ignoring the big picture.
  17. Refusing to take necessary medications.
  18. Habitually isolating.
  19. Difficulties with asking for help or accept help whenever it is offered.
  20. Pushing away or rejecting the people who care the most about you.
  21. Sacrificing your own desires and well-being for those of others around you.
  22. Attraction to people who you’re aware are unavailable.
  23. You rarely feel like you can fit in or belong anywhere.
  24. Desiring a closer more intimate relationship but avoid the intimacy that ‘closeness’ requires.
  25. Oh yeah….and easily afflicted with substance abuse issues or behavioral disorders.

These are many ways that you can consider yourself as showing signs of having an attitude of addiction towards your own misery. Misery can be bitter sweet, because it does provide a certain kind of fulfillment to some basic subconscious human needs, like the need for uncertainty or variety. It can also make us feel more significant, or misery gives us the leverage to throw our own pity parties to get support and compassion from others.

For an addict or alcoholic like me, it is easy to sit in misery because it was my most natural alibi for my self-destructive behavior. I had so many excuses because deep down part of me actually thrived off of being sad or angry because it was comfortable. However once I found ways to transmute these same sad stories and ‘frowny faces’ into inspirations, and I was able to let go of the negative ego that was attached to resentments or feeling sorry for myself my recovery thrived. I found myself happier in sobriety than I had ever expected would be possible for me, and I actually enjoyed facing the gloomier emotions from a perspective of learning from them instead of giving in to them. Staying in my misery was much harder than allowing myself to embrace letting go and being happy.


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